That’s the name Jorge Arangure proposes for the past couple of decades over at Sports on Earth. And he makes a lot of sense, noting that not unlike Forrest Gump, Tejada has been involved in nearly every notable controversy, movement, trend or occurrence over the course of his career.
His poor Dominican roots mirror those of the players who have literally changed the face of Major League Baseball (as did his role in an age-lying scandal). He was on the “Moneyball” A’s. He was involved in BALCO and The Mitchell Report. He also represents a breed of players who some figured would just go away but never have: guys who made their millions and ceased being superstars but continued to hang on and transform into a role player because, despite what people like to claim about rich athletes, he really, really loves to play baseball.
It’s a nice full profile of a player who, like a lot of Latin ballplayers, unfortunately, we’ve only really gotten to know in caricature. Kudos to Arangure for writing profiles like this and bringing us the stories of players who, for multiple reasons, tend to be kept at arm’s length from most fans.
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.