The Diamondbacks have activated third baseman Eric Chavez from the disabled list. In a corresponding roster move, they have designated Eric Hinske for assignment.
Chavez, 35, had been sidelined with a strained right oblique since the end of May. The injury interrupted a fantastic first two months. Facing right-handed pitching almost exclusively, Chavez hit .325/.368/.588. In his stead, Martin Prado took over every day at third base, starting every game between May 31 and June 22.
Hinske, also 35, was not enjoying his 2013 season. Usually a reliable bat off the bench, he carries a meager .173/.259/.288 slash line, including just nine hits in 45 trips to the plate as a pinch-hitter. This marks his second consecutive season of subpar offense but good lefty bench bats are hard to find, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hinske get a shot with another team.
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.