Vinny Rottino, who played 36 games for the Mets and Indians last season, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
Peter Jackal of the Racine Journal Times reports that Rottino will get $350,000 in guaranteed money and another $100,000 in potential incentives, which is a pretty good score for a 33-year-old who spent most of the past decade in the minors.
Rottino has racked up 1,140 games and 4,686 plate appearances in the minors, with more than half of that time coming at Triple-A, and he’s always produced pretty well while playing catcher, first base, third base, and the outfield corners, yet he’s totaled just 110 plate appearances in the majors while hitting .165.
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.