Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals pitching prospect Carlos Martinez still hasn’t arrived at spring training in Jupiter, Florida because he has not obtained a proper work visa.
Strauss says the Cardinals front office has “no idea” when Martinez might show up. The talented young right-hander is already two weeks behind the club’s other pitchers, though he’s not in the running for an Opening Day roster spot and wouldn’t have been even if he had made it to south Florida on time.
Martinez, a 21-year-old Dominican, posted a 2.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 92/32 K/BB ratio across 22 appearances (21 starts) last season between High-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield.
Baseball America ranked him No. 38 on their list of the Top 100 prospects this winter and MLB.com had him at No. 33. Martinez seems likely to open the 2013 campaign back in Double-A.
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.