Quote of the Day: Buster Olney on Terry Collins

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I’ve read a bunch of Terry Collins reactions this morning. Most of them aren’t all that insightful, frankly, because the guy just doesn’t have a recent track record anyone can grab onto. He’s intense. Some players who are now in their mid-40s didn’t much care for him. Hard to really find any traction with that.

Of all of them, though, I liked Buster Olney’s the best.  Olney is a writer with New York experience but, since he’s not a New Yorker, has a pretty good perspective on the press scene there. At the same time, he watched Collins in the minor leagues and after he took over the Angels.  His take:

Lest there be any doubt, Collins is more than smart enough to adapt. He certainly will recognize the pitfalls as he starts out. The question is whether he’s changed enough to survive. One thing is almost certain: Terry Collins, as good a baseball man as there is, will be an overwhelming success or a complete disaster.

And that’s based on not just Collins, but the New York environment, which I think he nails: it’s not that everything is So Much More Important in New York. It’s that everything — no matter how insignificant it actually is — is treated like it’s so much more important.  And I agree with that “success or failure; no middle ground” thing.  No matter what happens, I imagine that there will be fairly strong feelings about the guy two years from now, as opposed to general, apathetic Jerry Manuel misery.

And that’s an improvement, right?

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.