Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Joe Torre is going to announce today that he’s stepping down. That’s not terribly surprising. What is surprising is that the team is going to announce Don Mattingly as his successor.
Surprising in that, as the season has gotten uglier and uglier for the Dodgers, the chatter has increasingly been about Tim Wallach — the Dodgers’ AAA manager — not, Mattingly, taking over. Part of this is because Mattingly has been around an underachieving and uninspired team. Part of it has been because of a few gaffes that he has made while filling in for Torre. A lot of it is that Mattingly is Torre’s protege, and many people thought the team wants to go in a different direction. Helps that Wallach has gotten good reviews for the work he has done in Albuquerque, too.
But it’s Mattingly. A man who many thought would one day manage in New York, but who came west when Torre was forced out (or however you want to characterize it) as the Yankees’ skipper.
Donnie Baseball: the spotlight is yours.
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.