The Orioles have a little bit of life left.
J.J. Hardy just delivered an RBI double off David Phelps in the top of the 13th inning to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead over the Yankees. It broke the team’s 0-for-15 streak with runners in scoring position.
Manny Machado got the inning started with an opposite-field double. He moved over to third base on a ground out by Nate McLouth. It might have been a close play if Robinson Cano decided to throw to third base, but he went the safe route to get the out at first. Hardy then followed with the double. The Orioles had the chance for more, but Clay Rapada got Chris Davis to ground out and Derek Lowe retired Adam Jones on a comebacker.
The Yankees have Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and you guessed it, Alex Rodriguez due up in the bottom of the 13th. Meanwhile, Jim Johnson will try to save it for the Orioles. Oh, sweet narrative.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.