That sound you hear is Luke Scott’s agent and most of the Orioles’ front office simultaneously slapping their hands to their foreheads in exasperation as they read Sam Mellinger’s column in today’s Kansas City Star. You know, the one in which Luke Scott continues to be a birther despite the release of Obama’s birth certificate:
“(President Obama’s) birth certificate has yet to be validated … If they can counterfeit $100 bills, I think it’s a million times easier to counterfeit a birth certificate, if you ask me. So, all it is, let’s just see if it’s real. Anybody can produce a document, so let’s check it out.”
The rest of Mellinger’s column is, as usually, pretty sharp. Like me, he’s not going to lose sleep that there are people like Luke Scott playing baseball for a living. I mean, they’re paid to hit and throw the ball, not hold forth on the topics of the day.
But even so, you can’t help but marvel at the crazy seeping from his pores.
In today’s column for The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are “shopping the hell” out of first baseman Carlos Santana, according to a rival executive. Doing so would allow the Phillies to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base and open up a spot in the outfield for free agent Bryce Harper, with whom the Phillies have been commonly connected.
Santana, 32, is coming off of a mediocre season in which he hit .229/.352/.414 with 24 home runs and 86 RBI in 679 plate appearances. His 1.7 WAR, per Baseball Reference, was his lowest output since 2015. He has $35 million remaining on his contract. The Phillies would presumably eat a significant portion of that $35 million in order to make a trade work.
If the Phillies can’t move Santana but still end up signing Harper, Santana could share third base with Maikel Franco and first with Hoskins. Right now, the Phillies have a glut of outfielders with Hoskins, Odúbel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Hoskins rated among the worst outfielders defensively in 2018, so moving him back to first base is likely one of the Phillies’ bigger priorities.