Ken Griffey Jr. wants to play another year

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No sense yet if the Mariners feel the same way:

“If it works out for both sides, I’m fine,” Griffey told The Associated Press before the Mariners opened a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night. “We’ll figure it out at the end of the year. We’ve still got 30 days.”

As Rob Neyer noted yesterday, Griffey has been a drag on the Mariners offense this season, and at his age and with his health, there is no reason to suspect that he could do any better next year.

The article mentions that Griffey’s people and the Mariners are having talks of some kind, but I can’t help but think the Mariners are only pursuing them out of deference to a guy who will be wearing their cap when he enters the Hall of Fame.  All due respect to a wonderful guy who has had a wonderful career, but if Seattle brings him back, they’re simply not serious about wanting to win baseball games.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.