Johan Santana has been making steady progress in his recovery from multiple shoulder surgeries, but he’s clearly not ready to return to the majors yet and so the Orioles are trying to convince the two-time Cy Young winner to push back the opt-out clause in his contract that goes into effect at midnight today.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that the Orioles “think we’ll be able to work something out” with Santana before tonight’s deadline, which makes sense considering the reports last week that they could be planning to call him up to the majors as soon as mid-June.
Initially there was some talk of Santana potentially coming back as a reliever, but he’s looked good enough and stayed healthy enough that the Orioles now have him working as a starter. His velocity has been in the high-80s and, for whatever it’s worth, his results in extended spring training games were very positive.
A number of teams are making calls about Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson these days, as is the general nature of the offseason. Per Jason Kinander of FanSided, there have been some preliminary trade discussions between the Dodgers and the White Sox, though a formal deal doesn’t appear imminent and any potential competition from other clubs is still unknown.
Pederson, 26, has enjoyed quite a run with the Dodgers over the last five years. A perennial 25-home run hitter (when healthy), he slashed .248/.321/.522 with 56 RBI, an .843 OPS, and 2.7 fWAR through 443 plate appearances during the 2018 regular season. Following the Dodgers’ unsuccessful postseason campaign, Pederson agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract in advance of the arbitration deadline, and is currently slated to remain under team control through the 2020 season.
Despite his relative affordability and clear value to the club, shedding Pederson from their roster would allow the Dodgers to pursue the kind of right-handed hitters they need to balance out their 2019 lineup. It’s not certain what the White Sox are prepared to give up, but Kinander mentions right-hander Carson Fulmer, lefty reliever Aaron Bummer, and recent draft pick/third baseman Bryce Bush as a few possibilities.