WEEI’s John Dennis reports that talks between the Red Sox and Cubs regarding compensation for GM Theo Epstein have not gone well so far. I’m picturing this:
Red Sox: Give us Starlin Castro
Cubs: No. Take Carlos Zambrano.
Red Sox: No. Give us $10 million.
Cubs: No. Take Alfonso Soriano.
And on and on.
I’ve searched and searched and I can’t figure out what happens if they remain at an impasse. My presumption is that an arbitrator or the league or someone would step in and just deem what proper compensation is, but I could be wrong. I mean, it’s not like (a) anyone can force Epstein to continue to be the Red Sox’ GM (and the Red Sox wouldn’t want him to be that now); and (b) there is no tangible price that the Cubs could pay that would compensate Boston. It’s gonna happen, we just don’t know how.
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.