The Mets are officially done with their arbitration cases. In addition to finalizing a multi-year contract with R.A. Dickey today, the club announced that they avoided arbitration with Angel Pagan by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
Pagan filed for $4.2 million and was offered a little over $3.06 million by the Mets when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month, so the two sides ultimately settled below the midpoint.
The 29-year-old outfielder began last season on Jerry Manuel’s bench, but ended up being one of the most valuable players on the team. He batted .290/.340/.425 with 11 home runs, 69 RBI and finished second in the National League with 37 stolen bases in 46 attempts. He was also brilliant defensively, giving the Mets an excellent insurance policy for center field should the club decide to move Carlos Beltran over to right field during spring training.
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.