Via MetsBlog.com comes Jon Heyman talking on the MLB Network last night about Ben Sheets’ expectations. After suggesting that he’s going to see offers in the $7.5 million range — which sounds reasonable to me — Heyman says:
I have a feeling he is seeking more than that, though . . . the buzz
around Sheets, for a while now, has been, if he is healthy and
impressive, he will seek at least $10 million, plus lots of incentives, and a second-year, player-controlled option . . .
We heard that his workout went well yesterday, but I can’t imagine it went so well that teams are willing to give him $10 million plus player options. In fact, I think the option is more fantastical than the money. The biggest risk about Sheets is not his performance but his health. By giving him a player option you are essentially doubling that particular risk. After all, if he blows his elbow out again or something, he’s obviously going to exercise his option for a paid-rehab.
If any team does approach eight figures with Sheets, there would have to be some sort of creative injury clause and, if anything, an affordable team option that rewards the club for taking a chance on him in the first place.
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.