Chipper Jones is not available to the media in advance of tonight’s Braves-Rays game, but Dave O’Brien caught up with Bobby Cox a few minutes ago and asked him about today’s confusion over Jones’ retirement (or not). Cox:
The best I can say
is he’s planning on retiring after this year, but we won’t know until
he tells you guys.
My view of this is that, yeah, Jones is retiring. It’s not, as some of you clever wags have said in the comments, a Brett Favre situation where Jones can’t make up his mind. Rather, it’s a media situation in which Jones and/or the team can’t get comfortable with the best way to announce it so that it both (a) does Chipper and his legacy justice; and (b) doesn’t distract from preparation for a tough series like the one against the Rays.
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.