Kurkjian: Marlins will offer Valentine a four-year deal

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If Peter Gammons’ word isn’t enough to convince the HBT readership that Bobby Valentine is days away from being named the Marlins’ next manager, this might do the trick:

According to ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian, the Fish will offer Bobby V. a lucrative four-year contract after he is interviewed on Friday night in south Florida.  Valentine is obviously interested in the gig because he withdrew his name from the O’s managerial search earlier this week. 

And why wouldn’t he be?  The Marlins are off to a disappointing 35-36 start this season and currently sit six games back of the Braves in the National League East, but with talented youngsters like Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton, Josh Johnson, Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan in tow, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the club’s future. 

A new stadium set to open in 2012 should only sweeten the deal for Valentine, who is currently an analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

Before the offer comes, however, the Marlins will the will interview their interim
manager, Edwin Rodriguez, as well as Diamondbacks’ third base coach Bo
Porter, a former Marlins and current Diamondback coach. That according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal
One can’t help but turn a cynical eye at those interviews as Loria
pretending to consider minority candidates (Rodriguez is Latino and
Porter is black) while everyone on the planet knows that he wants
Valentine.  Such is the world we live in, however, and one can easily
argue that baseball’s insistence that such token interviews take place
is sillier than conducting them is.

But that’s a conversation for another day. Today, it seems, Loria is
getting his man. Or will soon, anyway. May they be happy together.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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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.