The Dodgers are three outs away from finishing off the Braves. And they owe it to Juan Uribe.
While some wondered whether Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez would turn to Craig Kimbrel for a six-out save, he went with David Carpenter in the bottom of the eighth inning. The plan quickly backfired, as he gave up a leadoff double to Yasiel Puig. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly then called for Juan Uribe to bunt Puig over to third, but he fouled off the first two pitches before it was called off. It all worked out in the end, as Uribe eventually blasted a go-ahead two-run homer into the seats in left field. And that’s why you don’t bunt, folks.
The Dodgers will carry a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth inning. Kenley Jansen will attempt to end the Braves’ season.
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.