The signing of Omar Infante and Jason Vargas took up the money the Royals had earmarked to re-sign Ervin Santana, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links), and thus with the club at its payroll limit, there is only a "remote" chance of K.C. bringing Santana back on even a one-year deal at a bargain price. The Tigers, Diamondbacks and Mariners are a few of the teams that have been linked to Santana this offseason, though we probably won't know the full extent of his market (and the market for other top free agent starters) until Masahiro Tanaka's situation has been settled.
Here's some more from around baseball...
- Jeff Karstens' agent Damon Lapa tells MLBTR's Zach Links that he expects at least a dozen clubs to be in attendance for Karstens' upcoming showcase. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that Karstens will throw in January and Lapa indicated to MLBTR that he'll be auditioning in the "mid-to-late" portion of next month. Lapa won't say what kind of deal he's seeking for his client but he did say that the 31-year-old is "100% healthy."
- The Giants checked in on Mark Mulder “but the short version is he’s looking for more than we could provide, including a Major League contract,” GM Brian Sabean told reporters, including CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly. Mulder is attempting a comeback and threw for three teams last month.
- Athletics owner Lew Wolff told John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group that the A's ownership group hasn't been approached by any interested buyers and Wolff reiterated that the team isn't for sale. Wolff also said he didn't have any interest in a new ballpark proposal by the city of Oakland that would see a stadium constructed at the Howard Terminal waterfront site.
- The Cardinals have finished their major offseason work, GM John Mozeliak told reporters (including MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch). The team will now look to add minor league depth and are prepared to be "opportunistic" if other ways of improving the roster present themselves, Mozeliak said.
- Scott Boras will face a challenge in finding a big contract for Kendrys Morales considering the slugger's seemingly limited market, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi writes.
- The Astros probably aren't done making moves and will look for some bargains in January and February, but GM Jeff Luhnow tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that he would already be satisfied with taking his current roster into Spring Training. Luhnow also commented on his team's recent acquisitions of Jesus Guzman and Collin McHugh, though he didn't comment on rumors tying Houston to Shin-Soo Choo.
- "The White Sox have quietly had a terrific offseason," ESPN.com's David Schoenfeld writes, praising GM Rick Hahn for adding the likes of Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson for what Schoenfeld feels were expendable pieces in Addison Reed and Hector Santiago.