MLB suspends Martin Maldonado, Carlos Gomez, Travis Snider, and Russell Martin for Easter brawl

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MLB has handed out suspensions for the Easter afternoon brawl between the Brewers and Pirates. On the Milwaukee side Martin Maldonado gets five games and Carlos Gomez gets three games. On the Pittsburgh side Travis Snider gets two games and Russell Martin gets one game. And they were all fined.

Maldonado receives the biggest punishment–including a $2,500 fine–after punching Snider in the face, resulting in a black eye and a large cut for the Pirates outfielder. Gomez got the whole ruckus going by admiring what he thought was a home run before sprinting for a triple, while Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole avoids a suspension presumably because MLB believes his involvement consisted of screaming at Gomez rather than, say, helping to incite the whole thing.

No word yet on which players plan to appeal the suspensions and/or fines. Martin has challenged Maldonado to an offseason fight in the name of raising money for charity, but Maldonado declined. As a backup catcher a five-game suspension really only means missing one game for Maldonado, who plays sparingly behind Brewers starter Jonathan Lucroy anyway.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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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.