After keeping the Brewers on their toes since he hit home run No. 299 on Monday, Ryan Braun finally pushed through to the 300-homer mark on Friday night. The milestone dinger came on an 0-1 pitch from the Cubs’ John Lackey in the first inning, postmarked to dead center field as Braun plated a pair to give the Brewers an early 2-0 lead.
By Statcast’s calculations, the ball traveled an estimated 410 feet, the longest home run by a Brewer since Travis Shaw‘s 412-footer against the Reds on Tuesday.
Braun still holds the franchise record for most home runs, with Robin Yount’s 252 career homers a distant second. Friday’s home run entered him in another exclusive club, as he became the sixth player to record at least 300 homers and 180 stolen bases in his first 11 big league seasons, joining the likes of Willie Mays (368 HR, 240 SB), Reggie Jackson (313 HR, 188 SB), Barry Bonds (334 HR, 380 SB), Sammy Sosa (336 HR, 224 SB) and Alex Rodriguez (381 HR, 205 SB).
Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, the blast also gave the club their 200th home run this season, just 31 shy of the franchise record they established back in 2007. The Brewers currently lead the Reds 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning.
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.