It was more a matter of “when” than “if,” but the Mets officially fired clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels today. Samuels is currently under investigation for his involvement in an illegal gambling ring and reportedly admitted to MLB that he bet on baseball. He was previously “indefinitely suspended” by the team.
The Mets released the following statement regarding Samuels, courtesy of Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com:
“The New York Mets announced today that they have terminated Charlie Samuels’ employment with the Mets for conduct in violation of club policies. This decision is the result of a thorough internal investigation over the course of several months. The Mets will have no further comment on this matter.”
Samuels was the team’s clubhouse manager for the previous 27 seasons. The Mets have went through nine managers — interim and otherwise — in that timespan.
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.