A lot of MLB teams are nervous about trading with teams within their division, but perhaps no club has been quite so paranoid as the Orioles under owner Peter Angelos. The last significant deal they made with an AL East team was in 2006, when they traded reliever Chris Britton to the Yankees for Jaret Wright and $4 million of the $7 million left on his contract.
They haven’t really taken a risk in a deal with an AL East rival since 2000, when they sent disappointing first-round pick Jayson Werth to the Blue Jays for reliever John Bale. Of course, Werth went on to become a star, but not until long after Toronto was done with him.
Fortunately, new GM Dan Duquette isn’t such a believer in avoiding deals within his division. He told WEEI’s Alex Speier today that, ‘If it’s good for our team…not as important who we trade with.”
Now he just needs to convince the guy who has the final say. The Orioles aren’t looking to sell at the moment, but they might be this summer, and they’ll be better off if Duquette is able to consider all offers, especially those that might lure some young talent away from the teams he hopes to overtake a couple of years down the road.
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.