Kolten Wong opened the 2014 season as the Cardinals’ starting second baseman, but he lost that job after batting .225/.276/.268 over his first 76 plate appearances and was officially demoted to Triple-A Memphis on April 27. It never seemed like it was going to be a long stay in the minors — Wong is a Top 100 prospect and has been a productive all-around player at every level of the Cards’ farm system. So the following comes as no surprise …
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak on Tuesday evening, after Wong went 4-for-5 with a homer and three runs scored in a blowout victory for Triple-A Memphis:
Mark Ellis, who has been serving as the Cardinals’ primary second baseman, owns a .203/.273/.237 batting line in 66 plate appearances for the season. It doesn’t make much sense to keep Wong grounded.
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.