Alex Rodriguez, not in Friday’s starting lineup against the Red Sox, still managed to make history. He pinch-hit for DH Garrett Jones in the eighth inning, facing reliever Junichi Tazawa. He got ahead in the count 3-0, then slugged a 94 MPH fastball out to left field for career home run number 660, putting the Yankees up 3-2.
In achieving the milestone, Rodriguez is due the first of five potential $6 million milestone awards as part of a marketing agreement in his 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees. The Yankees, however, plan to take legal action to avoid paying out the $6 million. Their claim is that Rodriguez’s involvement in the Biogenesis scandal has made his milestones unmarketable.
Rodriguez, 39, now has six home runs, 14 RBI, and a .243/.376/.557 triple-slash line in 85 plate appearances this season, mostly serving as the DH for the Yankees.
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.