The Cubs need a centerfielder. The Yankees arguably have an excess of centerfielders in Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson. I say “arguably” because as things currently stand one of those dudes has to play left. But the Yankees may or may not be done making moves this winter, they may still yet bring Johnny Damon back and they may yet emerge as a Matt Holliday suitor, so things are a bit fluid.
What this all means is some talk from Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News that the Yankees could ship either Cabrera or Gardner to Chicago for a pitcher. There’s not a ton to this — it’s all really based on FOX’s report that the Cubs have not, contrary to earlier reports, settled on Marlon Byrd, and are looking at other options. There’s a single line in the New York Post today saying that the Yankees have asked about Carlos Zambrano, but it doesn’t sound like (a) it was a really serious effort; or (b) that it is going anywhere.
But does it make any sense? I’d say sure, if the Yankees do decide to re-engage with Damon or move on Holliday that they may want to get something for one of their younger outfielders, but nothing that the Cubs could offer them in the way of pitching would seem to make it worthwhile.
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.