ESPN has announced its Opening Day triple header: Detroit in the Bronx to face the Yankees early, San Diego at St. Louis later and the Giants in L.A. to play the Dodgers to round out the evening. That Giants-Dodgers series wasn’t supposed to kick off until the next day, but the league moved it up to March 31st.
I’m guessing there’s college basketball going down that day too, but if you watch the tournament instead of Opening Day, you and I probably can’t be friends anymore.
UPDATE: OK, a bunch of you have told me that there are no games on 3/31 as it’s a couple of days before Final Four weekend. I still don’t think we can be friends if you watch that instead of weekend baseball games, though, OK?
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.