The Mets have spent the last few weeks bending over backwards to get rid of their dead wood arms in Oliver Perez and John Maine, so it’s rather funny that they’d go out and sign a guy who’s been about as effective as Oliver Perez and John Maine this year. That’s what they did, though: they’ve signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal.
Ortiz, who was designated for assignment by the Dodgers last month after
posting a 6.30 ERA, hasn’t been worth a diddly durn for years, and it’s an open question if he was even worth a diddly durn back in the day. Before this year he spent the last two in AAA and in Japan. He was passable for Fresno last season, but he couldn’t really get anyone out playing for the Orix Blue Wave in 2008.
The only real justification I can see for the move is that the Mets are concerned that one of their minor league teams have been exposed to Legionnaires Disease and they need fresh bodies to avoid a string of forfeits.
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.