In a column for the Denver Post yesterday, former Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs announced that he has hung up the spikes, ending a seven-year career in the Majors. Spilborghs, now 34 years old, hadn’t played since 2011. He spent the 2012 season with the Triple-A affiliates for the Rangers (Round Rock Express) and Indians (Columbus Clippers). He played for the Saitana Seibu Lions in Japan in 2013 but his numbers were unimpressive.
Spilborghs retires with -0.3 WAR according to Baseball Reference, but he had a few decent years with the bat as a part-time outfielder for the Rockies. In 2007-08, he combined to post a .306/.384/.477 line in 575 plate appearances.
Spilborghs wrote in his column:
I’ve spent this entire offseason contemplating sacrifices and opportunity, weighing my individual desires and that of my family. What I’ve eventually landed on, and let me say it wasn’t an individual effort, was an agreement with my mind and my heart, that I am going to move on from playing baseball.
I’ve chronicled my adventures in Japan enough for people to know that it took a lot out of me and the pure enjoyment of playing the game. I don’t regret playing there –I loved it — but it really put a part of me into clear focus: being a parent.
In his latest venture, Spilborghs will join Colorado’s Root Sports as an analyst.
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.