Giants starter Madison Bumgarner helped his own cause on Sunday afternoon against the Cardinals, blasting his third home run of the season and No. 17 in his career. The no-doubt solo home run came on a 2-0 fastball from Luke Weaver in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game at two apiece.
Bumgarner and Carlos Zambrano are the only pitchers to have hit 17 or more home runs in this millennium. Bumgarner has also hit at least three home runs in each of the last four seasons. The last pitcher (min. 80 percent of career games as a pitcher) to have at least four seasons of three-plus homers was Don Drysdale (1958-59, ’61, ’65).
Unfortunately for the Giants, Bumgarner wasn’t as effective on the mound. He gave up five runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings. He served up three home runs. Bumgarner now owns a 3.15 ERA with an 86/16 K/BB ratio in 91 1/3 innings.
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.