There was some Twitter-glee yesterday as some New York writers were saying some variation of “the Mets started asking permission to speak to GM candidates but no one will grant them permission.”
Look, I love bashing the Mets as much as anyone, but that seems kind of crazy. It had been, what, one day? And as far as I could tell the Mets had asked the Marlins if they could talk to any number of executives who they probably want to keep and who are under contract for several years. This is not worthy of Mets criticism. They’ll do plenty of things this winter that are, however, so let’s all just hold our fire, OK?
And anyway, according to Jerry Crasnick at least one Marlins exec is still in the running: Assistant GM Dan Jennings. While it had been reported that he was in the group of people the Marlins wanted to declare off limits, Crasnick says that Jennings’ contract allows him to interview with the Mets without the Marlins’ consent. Assuming he wants the job.
I don’t know much about Jennings, but if you control for Jeff Loria, the Marlins front office is a pretty sharp and efficient outfit. They usually manage to field a competitive team on scant resources and that takes some talent. Jennings is part of that equation. He’s probably a good candidate.
And if you’re Jennings, you may be one of the few executives from another team for whom going to work for Jeff Wilpon won’t be that big of a problem. Because, again, Loria.
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.