After his Nationals were swept by the Phillies yesterday manager Davey Johnson was heard in the clubhouse yelling “you come down and manage the team!” to what Bill Ladson of MLB.com identified as general manager Mike Rizzo.
Once that happened all the reporters were told to leave the clubhouse for 15 minutes and when they returned Johnson explained: “I had a discussion with my boss.”
He declined to get into any further details and Rizzo declined to comment about the incident at all, leaving everyone to speculate about what was really going on.
Johnson was clearly frustrated after the Nationals lost for the fourth consecutive game, and rightfully so since it was an ugly, mistake-filled performance, but Washington still has the best record in baseball at 77-50 and remains 4.5 games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East.
However, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com yesterday’s yelling was probably much ado about (mostly) nothing.
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.