I said to my daughter Amy, I said, ‘we’re five outs away from seeing
something that very few people sitting in this ballpark have ever seen,
and that is the Cubs actually going to the World Series.’ As soon as I
said that, (Luis) Castilla hit that foul ball, (Moises) Alou goes up to
get it, and, it turns out, we learned later his name was Steve Bartman,
he interfered with the ball. I was sitting in box seats at the time
and, by the way, I paid for those tickets myself.
— Rod Blagojevich, simultaneously reminding Cubs fans of their worst baseball memory and the fact that their last governor was so corrupt that he has to specifically point out that he didn’t receive playoff tickets via graft.
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.