Winter meetings notes: Day 1

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Let’s touch on some stuff that didn’t make it into the blog entries:
*ESPN’s Jayson Stark says the Blue Jays and Dodgers discussed Roy Halladay but didn’t find a match.
In no small part because the Dodgers are apparently flat broke.
*The Mariners are talking to free agent reliever Darren Oliver about a contract, says FOXSports.com.
Perhaps Jack Zduriencik’s biggest misstep in his rookie year as the Mariners’ GM was giving away Eric O’Flaherty on waivers. The team could use a lefty for the bullpen, and besides Mike Gonzalez, Oliver would seem to be the best option available.
*The Red Sox met with Justin Duchscherer’s agent on Sunday night, according to WEEI.com.
It’d be an upset if Boston didn’t land one or two pitchers from the group of high-upside-but-injury-prone pitchers that includes Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Duchscherer and Kelvim Escobar. I’d put John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez in that class as well, but the Red Sox aren’t going there.
*The Yankees and Mets have joined the Red Sox in inquiring about Escobar, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Escobar is considering pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League to show teams what he can do. He’ll probably have to if he expects to land a guaranteed contract. Otherwise, he’d only be worth a flier on a minor league contract.
*SI.com’s Jon Heyman thinks the Mets’ forthcoming offer to Bengie Molina could be a one-year deal worth $6 million with an option for 2011.
As the top catcher on the market, Molina won’t be quick to take a one-year offer. The Giants might be willing to re-sign him if he backs down from his request for a multiyear pact, so the Mets will probably have to guarantee that second year if they hope to bring him in.

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.