Bleu Jays’ second baseman Devon Travis is likely done for the season after experiencing a setback in his recovery process, manager John Gibbons told reporters Saturday. Travis was initially sidelined in June after undergoing surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee, and hasn’t made a return to the field since. While the Blue Jays didn’t specify any additional treatment for the injury, it makes sense that they’d take things slow with the infielder in order to ensure his return by next spring.
Travis, 26, was in his third run with the Blue Jays before suffering the season-ending knee injury. He slashed .259/.291/.438 with five home runs and a .729 OPS through 197 PA, just a tick down from his .300-average, 10+ home runs in 2016. While he appeared to be on track to return in mid-September, he aggravated his knee injury during a rehab stint with High-A Dunedin and was forced to evacuate the facilities on Friday due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma. He’s expected to continue his rehab in Toronto but still has no set timeline to resume baseball activities on a major league level.
It’s been a rough season for the Blue Jays, who lost at least nine players to the disabled list this season, five with various season-ending ailments. Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney stepped up in Travis’ absence, splitting starts at second base and maintaining respective batting averages of .259 and .206 in the second half.
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.