As we heard last week, Matt Harvey is embarking on a six-to-eight week throwing program to rehab his partially-torn elbow ligament rather than undergo Tommy John surgery. Interestingly, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York today that he would like to see Harvey test himself in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League as part of his rehab process. However, it’s unclear whether he’s actually eligible to do so.
Here are the eligibility rules, directly from the Arizona Fall League website:
“No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.”
Unless things have changed or there is some loophole that isn’t publicly known, this would seem to disqualify Harvey. Still, it’s clear the Mets want to see Harvey in some sort of competitive environment before a decision is made about surgery.
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.