Toronto is expected to activate designated hitter/first baseman Adam Lind from the disabled list tonight after he missed five weeks with a fractured right foot.
Lind was initially expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, but he returns ahead of schedule and rejoins the lineup following just one minor-league rehab game. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons watched Lind take some swings in a simulated game Monday and came away convinced he was ready to play.
Prior to the injury Lind was having his second straight strong season following a three-year rough patch from 2010-2012, hitting a career-high .320 with an .878 OPS that ranks as the second-best mark of his career despite just four homers in 61 games.
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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.