Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer could begin a rehab assignment in a week to 10 days, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Cuddyer has been on the disabled list since June 6 after suffering a broken left shoulder socket. He hasn’t been able to hit in the batting cage yet, but he has hit off a tee along with running and fielding drills.
Cuddyer, 35, is in the last year of a three-year, $31.5 million contract with the Rockies. He led the National League in batting average last season at .331 and went on the disabled list having similar success in 131 plate appearances, slashing .317/.366/.500. As the Rockies have a surplus of outfielders, as well as Nolan Arenado at third base and Justin Morneau at first base, they may not have interest in bringing the veteran back into the fold for the 2015 season. As a result, Cuddyer will likely be using the final month-plus to audition for a new suitor.
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.