Danny Knobler, who covered the Tigers in Detroit prior to working at CBSSports.com, reports that Ramon Santiago “could be a possibility” for the Phillies as they look to add depth following the latest news on Chase Utley’s knee injury.
Santiago has split time at shortstop for the Tigers during the past few seasons, but is slated to be a backup this year after the team re-signed midseason pickup Jhonny Peralta to a two-year, $11.25 million deal.
Santiago has logged more than 3,000 career innings at shortstop and another 950 innings at second base, but aside from a flukey .870 OPS in a part-time role a few years ago the 31-year-old switch-hitter hasn’t offered much production offensively. Of course, even his measly .681 OPS during the past two seasons is better than the .665 OPS posted by Wilson Valdez, who’s the most likely in-house option to replace Utley.
Free agent first baseman Matt Adams has signed a one-year, $3 million pact with the Nationals, the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. The contract comes with a $1 million buyout on a 2020 option, bringing the total value to $4 million. Official confirmation is still pending completion of a physical.
The 30-year-old infielder will return to familiar turf in Washington after spending the first half of the 2018 season there. He was dealt to the Cardinals in late August for cash considerations and finished the season batting a collective .239/.309/.477 with a career-high 21 home runs, .786 OPS and 0.8 fWAR through 337 plate appearances for the two National League clubs.
Despite his impressive display of power, Adams experienced a significant decline at the plate over the second half of the season, batting well under the Mendoza Line as the Cardinals pushed for a postseason berth against the division-winning Brewers and Wild Card-contending Cubs. Still, he saw enough early success in Washington to merit a second look and should provide a sturdy backup to Ryan Zimmerman at first base in 2019.