The Washington Nationals have designated Matt Stairs for assignment in order to make room for Jonny Gomes.
This saddens me. Oh, it was inevitable — Stairs is 43 and is hitting .154/.257/.169 with no homers — but it strikes me that this may very well be it for the formerly-bemulleted one. Depending on how you count Montreal and Washington, Stairs played for 12 or 13 teams in his 19-year career.
For that career he’s a .262/.356/.477 hitter with 265 homers. Unless someone becomes really desperate for a lefty in the twilight, that may be it.
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.