Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton had to leave Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Brewers after being hit on the hand attempting to bunt in the bottom of the first inning. The Reds announced after the game that he suffered a fractured left thumb and is expected to go on the 10-day disabled list.
Hamilton finished the at-bat, flying out, but was replaced by Phillip Ervin in the third inning. On the season, Hamilton is hitting .248/.299/.333 with 82 runs scored and 58 stolen bases in 600 plate appearances. He is one stolen base shy of setting a new career-high.
A fractured thumb usually needs four to six weeks to heal, so Hamilton’s season is likely over. Even if Hamilton’s timetable is quicker, the last-place, 61-79 Reds have nothing left to play for in September, so it wouldn’t make sense to rush him back.
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.