Wandy Rodriguez has been sidelined since June 5 due what was originally described as left forearm tightness, but he has been holding out hope for a return this season. However, it’s increasingly likely that he’ll have to turn the focus to 2014 and beyond.
According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, Rodriguez is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews early next week after his simulated game today didn’t go well. The veteran southpaw went ahead with throwing today even though Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he had discomfort during his bullpen session earlier this week.
Rodriguez’s contract includes a $13 million player option for next season, which he’ll almost certainly exercise, but the Pirates won’t get much bang for their buck if he requires the worst-case scenario of Tommy John surgery. On the bright side, the Astros are set to pay $5.5 million of that total per the terms of their trade last year.
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.