Last year around this time the Blue Jays acquired Sergio Santos from the White Sox to be their long-term closer, but he ended up being shut down in April before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.
In his absence Casey Janssen emerged as the Blue Jays’ closer, saving 22 games with a 2.54 ERA, but Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that “Santos is ready for spring training, with a chance, if healthy, to reclaim the closer’s role.”
Regardless of which role he’d fill getting a healthy Santos back would be huge for a team that beefed up its roster in a major way this offseason. In two seasons with the White Sox the converted infielder threw 115 innings with a 3.29 ERA, .219 opponents’ batting average, and 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.