Henry Urrutia, who signed with the Orioles last year around this time after defecting from Cuba, is on his way to the majors according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
Urrutia posted huge batting averages in Cuba and the 26-year-old outfielder/first baseman hit .365 with seven homers, 20 doubles, and a .958 OPS in 67 games between Double-A and Triple-A to earn the quick promotion.
He signed for less than $1 million, so the Orioles have to be pretty thrilled with that modest investment right now as they look to the left-handed hitter to provide a boost to what is an already dangerous lineup. Baltimore scored the league’s third-most runs in the first half and led the league in homers, but their designated hitter production has been lacking and Urrutia figures to get a long look there.
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.