I don’t know if this says more about the White Sox’ actual interests or if it simply says more about the colorful manner in which White Sox sources talk to reporters, but today — one day after the Sox were said to be “trying desperately” to get Adam Dunn — they are reported to be “trying to accelerate talks” for Prince Fielder. Tune in tomorrow to see if they’re “striving valiantly” for Lance Berkman.
Earlier reports had White Sox people saying that they didn’t think Prince Fielder was a good fit for the organization and all of that. Hard to say what that even means, because there aren’t a ton of teams that couldn’t do with his production in the midst of a playoff drive. Maybe it’s just that they felt that it would be easier to stick Adam Dunn at DH whereas Fielder’s presence may create more political problems for Paul Konerko or something. Maybe it’s a function of their being unable to land Fielder without parting with Gordon Beckham, which they don’t want to do.
Or maybe this is just Kenny Williams being smart. He’s the most obvious buyer for big honkin’ DH/1B types right now, and if he can get both the Nats and Brewers thinking he’s talking to the other, the price of both Dunn and Fielder may go down.
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.