For the third time in a month, the Mets have posted back-to-back shutouts in starts by R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana.
Santana got the Mets two-thirds of the way there tonight in the 5-0 win over the Orioles, following up Dickey’s one-hitter on Monday with six scoreless innings. Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista and Jon Rauch combined to finish the shutout from there.
The Mets are first in the NL with eight shutouts, putting them one behind the Angels for the major league lead. No other team has more than six.
For Santana, it was his first good start since his no-hitter 18 days ago. He had allowed 10 runs in 10 innings since. The Orioles kept hitting flyballs against him tonight, but only Matt Wieters, with two doubles, did any damage. Santana allowed four hits, walked two and struck out five while throwing 101 pitches.
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.