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Report: Indians want to sign Carlos Santana to a contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Indians are interested in signing 1B/DH Carlos Santana to a contract extension. Santana is currently in the last year of his contract after the Indians picked up his $12 million club option for the 2017 season last November.

Heyman suggests Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo are reasonable comparisons. Morales signed a three-year, $33 million contract with the Blue Jays and Trumbo inked a three-year, $37.5 million pact with the Orioles during the offseason.

Last season, Santana hit .259/.366/.498 with 34 home runs and 87 RBI in 688 plate appearances. He started off this season with a pair of doubles, a home run, and four RBI in his team’s first three games.

Santana also has flexibility, which isn’t often said of 1B/DH types. He was brought up as a catcher and has played some third base. Of course, the Indians hope to never have to use him behind the plate unless in an emergency situation.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.