In camp on a minor-league deal, right-hander David Aardsma was told that he wouldn’t be making the Indians’ bullpen and asked for his release.
Aardsma has struggled to stay healthy since topping 30 saves in back-to-back seasons for the Mariners in 2009 and 2010, logging a total of 41 innings from 2011-2013. He had a 4.31 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 40 innings for the Mets last season, but walked 19 batters and served up seven homers.
Aardsma will probably have to spend some time at Triple-A to convince a team he’s ready to help, but at age 32 getting back to the majors in a middle relief role seems doable.
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.