Kirk Gibson is the odds-on favorite to be named NL Manager of the Year later this month, but in the meantime he’s agreed to a contract extension with the Diamondbacks that runs through 2014.
General manager Kevin Towers’ deal was also extended through 2014, and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that both contracts include team options for 2015 and 2016.
Arizona will have to decide whether to exercise both the option years by the end of 2013, eliminating the possibility of a lame-duck situation.
Gibson, who played 17 seasons in the majors and was the NL MVP in 1988, has gone 128-117 (.522) since taking over as the Diamondbacks’ manager in mid-2010. Towers became the Diamondbacks’ general manager in September of last year and previously had a 15-year run as the Padres’ GM.
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.