Great post over at The Daily Something this morning trying to figure out which player will be the last Montreal Expos veteran to play in the big leagues. Bill picks Vlad Guerrero on the theory that he’s the best player left and is a DH. Personally I’d go with someone like Jon Rauch or Javier Vazquez, but good arguments can be made for several dudes. Personally I want Matt Stairs to play until he’s 53, but that’s probably not likely.
I’m actually kind of surprised that there are still so many former Expos left. I know 2004 wasn’t that long ago, but it’s not like the late-model Expos had oodles and oodles of talent to burn. But they did have a ton of great players run through there just before the end only to fall victim to the Jeff Loria-induced Expos diaspora that has since fertilized the rosters of a ton of other teams.
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.