With any luck, it’s just a 10-day assignment.
Brandon Belt, who began a rehab assignment Saturday after missing a month with a fractured wrist, was activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Thursday.
Belt earned his way back to the majors on May 26, only to get hurt in his second game back with the Giants. He was 2-for-5 with a walk in two appearances before going on the DL.
With the All-Star break coming up, it wouldn’t make any sense for the Giants to activate Belt this weekend. So, they might as well send him down and save a little cash and maybe a little service time, depending on when he’s recalled. If Belt were to get hurt again in the minors while on the major league DL, the Giants would have had to keep paying him and letting him accrue service time.
Belt, though, deserves to be in the majors, and hopefully, the Giants will go ahead and call him up 10 days from now. He’s started off 5-for-14 with a homer through five games on his rehab assignment.
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.