Their bullpen is still a hot mess, but the Tigers have finally figured out how to live in a post-Jose Iglesias world. After misfiring with Alex Gonzalez and getting way, way less-than-replacement offensive value from Andrew Romine, Eugenio Suarez has been exactly what the doctor ordered.
Suarez went 3 for 4 with two RBI and three runs scored in the Tigers’ 12-9 win over the Twins this afternoon.
He hit a solo homer and RBI double in the Tigers’ seven-run third inning, walked in the fifth inning, and then tripled to right field in the seventh.
So far Suarez is hitting .400/.500/1.000 with three home runs, and eight runs scored through his first eight major league games. Obviously that will fall way the heck off, but in a stretch where so much has gone wrong for the Tigers, they have to be happy something is going right.
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.