Alcides Escobar played hurt because the Royals have a weird bench

8 Comments

Kansas City has had a weird bench situation all season, including no backup middle infielder currently, which means yesterday starting shortstop Alcides Escobar was in the lineup despite swelling in his knee from being spiked Saturday.

Here’s more on the weirdness, from Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star:

If Escobar left Saturday’s game, manager Ned Yost floated the idea of utilizing either first baseman Eric Hosmer or reliever Michael Mariot in left field, with Alex Gordon shifting to third base.

Using a reliever in the outfield and using Alex Gordon at a position he hasn’t played since 2010. There are no bonus points in baseball for degree of difficulty, so it sure seems like the Royals should just find another guy capable of playing shortstop and put him on the roster like every other team does every season.

Of course, Escobar went 1-for-4 with a walk Sunday and the Royals won, so what do I know.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

Getty Images
6 Comments

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.