The Diamondbacks begin play today with a major-league worst 4-11 record and are already six games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West, so they have decided to shake things up their starting rotation.
Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports that the Diamondbacks will move the struggling Trevor Cahill to the bullpen. Mike Bolsinger has been called up from Triple-A Reno and will make his first major league start Saturday against the Rockies.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson hinted last week that Cahill’s spot was in jeopardy, so six runs (two earned) on five hits and five walks over four innings yesterday against the Dodgers was apparently the last straw. The 26-year-old right-hander is 0-4 with a 9.17 ERA and 13 walks over 17 2/3 innings this season.
Cahill is owed $20 million through 2015 and his contract includes a pair of club options for 2016 and 2017, so the Diamondbacks have some incentive to get him straightened out. As far as early April decisions go, this feels like a panic move, especially since Bolsinger and Josh Collmenter aren’t better bets for success. The Diamondbacks are clearly focused on winning now, so it might not be long before we see top prospect Archie Bradley make his major league debut.
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.