Reds right-hander Mat Latos was aiming to return from his early-spring knee surgery by mid-April, but that seems highly unlikely to happen at this point.
According to beat writer John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Latos had to be scratched from a scheduled rehab start Tuesday night at Triple-A Louisville due to inflammation in his right elbow.
“Mat threw his bullpen [on Sunday] and had some irritation in his elbow,” Reds manager Bryan Price told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “He had some inflammation and tenderness there in the elbow and he wasn’t able to get through to the point where he could pitch. We’re taking the conservative route to reschedule once we get that soreness out of there. … In the next couple of days, we should know a lot more.”
Latos allowed five runs — three earned — over four innings in his minor league rehab debut last Thursday at Double-A Pensacola. He probably won’t join the Reds’ rotation for at least another two weeks.
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.