Last night Nolan Ryan talked about the Rangers wanting agent Darek Braunecker to “tell them what it would take to sign” Cliff Lee.
This afternoon Braunecker responded by speaking to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com about Ryan’s request and basically pointed out that negotiations where one side is fielding offers from multiple bidders don’t really work that way.
Here’s more from Braunecker:
We have no interest in participating in the unconventional negotiating style the club has requested. For the player to submit an offer to the club … that’s not the way the process works.
In other words, why should Braunecker “tell them what it would take to sign” Lee when not telling them could lead to the Rangers bidding more than “it would take.”
At this point it appears as though Braunecker has done everything right and manipulated the situation perfectly, so it’s no surprise that he balked at Ryan’s request. Rangers officials are reportedly traveling to Arkansas today to meet with Lee and Braunecker, but Ryan hinted yesterday that the Yankees adding a seventh year to their offer “makes it more challenging for us.”
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.