Ken Rosenthal reports that new Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette has basically dissolved the Orioles’ professional scouting department, reassigning the pro scouts to the amateur side:
“As you get more video and statistical analysis on a player, the longer they’re in professional baseball, it’s not as vital to have them seen by eyes, professional eyes,” Duquette said. “Players establish a record of their work. “Some of the trends that the statistics track, they’re not trends that professional scouts would normally see in a short look.”
If you don’t think that isn’t gonna get some old anti-sabermetric writers grumbling, you’re crazy. Looks like we’re gonna have some 2003-era “Moneyball” debates all over again.
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.