Casey Janssen will make Grapefruit League debut Friday

5 Comments

The Jays should have their closer on Opening Day.

According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, righty Casey Janssen made it through a one-inning appearance in a minor league game on Wednesday without experiencing any discomfort in his surgically-repaired shoulder. He has been cleared to make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday against the Red Sox and he should be a go for the start of the regular season if everything goes well from here on out.

Janssen registered an excellent 2.54 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 67/11 K/BB ratio across 63 2/3 innings last summer. The 31-year-old has a 3.60 career ERA and his K/9 has been on the rise for six consecutive seasons.

If something goes wrong for Janssen over these next 12 days, Sergio Santos will act as closer.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

Getty Images
5 Comments

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.