Carl Crawford was eligible to come off the disabled list last week, but he’s not close to returning from an ankle injury and Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers outfielder “has hit a roadblock” in his recovery.
He’s been shut down for several days at the team’s spring training complex in Arizona, although manager Don Mattingly described the situation as Crawford’s progress “getting stuck” rather than a setback.
His absence lessened the Dodgers’ outfield logjam, allowing Matt Kemp to get off the bench in left field while Andre Ethier continues to play center field. Before the injury Crawford hit just .267 with four homers and a .693 OPS in 44 games, but he’d been playing well recently.
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.