MLB makes up another rule, Mets approve

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Under the old free agent system, the Mets would have gotten the Marlins’ third-round pick next summer (plus a compensation pick between the first and second rounds) for losing Jose Reyes. MLB, though, is still working through this whole draft-pick compensation thing after the new CBA, and let it be known today that the Mets will get the Marlins’ second-rounder instead.

The Marlins’ second-rounder was supposed to go to San Diego for Heath Bell. That’s because Bell placed higher than Reyes in the Elias Rankings, which, until a couple of weeks ago, had been the determining factor when it came to free agent compensation. The Marlins couldn’t lose their first-rounder since, as one of the league’s bottom 15 teams last season, that pick was protected.

Now the Padres will get a newly created pick just before the Marlins’ scheduled second-round pick as part of the compensation for Bell. The Mets are due the second-rounder…. for now anyway. There’s no word yet on what will happen if the Marlins sign Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder. Previously, such a move would have knocked the Mets’ pick from the third round down to the fourth round.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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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.