With tomorrow night’s deadline for teams to tender 2011 contracts to arbitration-eligible players looming, Chris Denorfia and the Padres have avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $800,000.
Signed last December after being let go by the A’s following a miserable Triple-A performance, Denorfia earned a mid-May call-up to San Diego and then hit .271 with a .335 on-base percentage and .433 slugging percentage in 99 games for the Padres.
He’s likely to serve as San Diego’s fourth outfielder in 2011 following the team’s trade for Cameron Maybin last month, and Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres are likely to non-tender fellow arbitration-eligible bench candidates Tony Gwynn Jr. and Scott Hairston.
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.