It’s been a long road back from the disabled list, but Carlos Correa is finally ready to resume his season. The Astros activated Correa from the 10-day DL in advance of Sunday’s series finale and will equip the shortstop with a special protective pad on his thumb when he takes the field.
Correa, 22, initially jammed his left thumb after sliding headfirst into Tyler Flowers‘ shinguard back in early July. Several weeks later, he aggravated the injury on a bad swing and underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament, totaling 47 days on the disabled list as he worked back to full strength.
Prior to the injury, Correa slashed .320/.400/.566 with 20 home runs and a .966 OPS in 375 PA for the Astros, earning his first All-Star distinction and approaching career-high numbers with 4.1 fWAR. He continued to mash in back-to-back rehab assignments with Triple-A Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi, going 7-for-24 with a double and five RBI leading up to his activation from the disabled list. There’s no guarantee that Correa will return to MVP-caliber production levels when he steps back into the majors, but the hot-hitting shortstop could help give the Astros the edge they need to make a long run in the postseason this fall.
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.