HBT Weekend Wrapup

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What you missed while in a tryptophan and pie-induced coma.

  • Wally Backman goes on about how he thought he should have gotten the Mets job. In the process he says that there’s no difference between managing A-ball players and major leaguers. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that (a) fear that he’d talk out of school about this kind of stuff; and (b) delusions about what it takes to manage major leaguers are a couple of the reasons he didn’t get the Mets job.
  • Ever wonder what will happen to your local ballpark when the Zombie Apocalypse hits?  Wonder no more!
  • The Marlins sign Javier Vazquez. If he pitches poorly, this may be the last chance he ever gets. If he pitches well, the people who like to slam on the National League and pump up the AL East will become positively insufferable.
  • Billy Beane “was a little baffled” when news of the A’s offer for Adrian Beltre came out. Between its use by Jeter’s agent to describe the Yankees’ negotiating strategy and this, “baffled” is easily the top word this offseason.
  • Ohio State beat Michigan for the seventh consecutive time, rendering Rich Rodriguez a dead man walking. Some said that the Buckeyes’ dominance has rendered the rivalry uninteresting. I beg to differ. I believe it would only be enhanced by continued Ohio State dominance. Indeed, it will take at least another 15-20 straight wins before it becomes old for me, I believe. I may be a little biased about this, however.

One week to go until the Winter Meetings start. Here’s hoping every free agent signs between now and Friday. That way I can spend more time riding the Teacup Ride and Space Mountain down at Disney World next week instead of eavesdropping on conversations in the hotel bar while pretending to mess with my phone!

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.