Released by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the week, infielder Ronny Cedeno already has a new home, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart:
Cedeno, 30, will provide some middle infield depth for the Astros, who have yet to see either Tyler Greene or Marwin Gonzalez seize the starting shortstop job. Cedeno has played mostly shortstop in his career, but he can play second.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow couldn’t be reached for comment.
The deal is pending a physical.
Cedeno had his best offensive showing last year with the Mets, albeit in a meager 186 trips to the plate. Posting an OPS between .593 and .680 from 2006-11, he finished 2012 with a .741 OPS. Now 30, the Astros are hoping he can provide some stability in the infield on an otherwise young roster.
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.