That’s the word from Russell Martin’s agent Matt Colleran, who tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he and the Dodgers have exchanged “general ideas” about a potential deal before Thursday’s non-tender deadline, but that the club has not presented his client with a formal offer.
“If any offer is made to us, I’ll certainly discuss that with Russell.”
Martin’s future in Los Angeles is in doubt after yet another mediocre season at the plate, as he batted just .248/.347/.332 with a 679 OPS. Further complicating matters is that the 27-year-old backstop is currently recovering from a season-ending hip fracture. He earned $5.05 million this past season and could make roughly $6 million through the arbitration process this winter.
The Dodgers could always cut Martin loose on Thursday and try to bring him back at a lesser salary, but they also risk losing him to another team. As of now, the only other catchers on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster are A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez, who has two major league at-bats (in 2006) and was signed to a minor league contract earlier this month. It’s not an easy call.
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.