Marlins say shared playing surface is still "a concern"

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In this era of single-sport stadiums, it’s becoming rare to see the shadows of a baseball diamond on a football field.  Or vice-versa.

But that’s exactly what the Marlins and A’s go through every time summer turns to fall and it causes stress for at least one infield coach. 

The Marlins’ Joe Espada told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post on Saturday that the shape of the field at Sun Life Stadium in Miami is “a concern” and that he worries about it every time the NFL’s Dolphins play a game during the baseball season.

“If there’s a tackle right over the shortstop area. They beat that place up,” said Espada.  “I want to make sure when we get there the surface is playable and guys
aren’t getting bad hops and the track is good. After the last time, the
field was in decent shape.

I’m very aware of it.  It’s a concern.”

That’s exactly how we feel here at Hardball Talk when PFT’s Mike Florio stops by and drops some knowledge.  Well, not really.  But that joke had to be made out of pure convenience.

The Marlins and Espada won’t have to worry about sharing a stomping grounds with a football team for much longer.  In 2012, the Fish will move into a baseball-only downtown stadium and the Dolphins will take over Sun Life for good.

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.