When Ozzie Guillen bashed Buster Olney on Twitter Friday, he was merely criticizing the accusation that his team has given up. On the other hand, he is perfectly willing to admit that his team isn’t any good.
The Palm Beach Post has the quotes:
“When you say I lose control of my team (and) they’re not playing hard, you’re not watching this ballclub play,” Guillen said. “Say we’re losing, yes. We play terrible, yes. We’ve been bad all year. But (say) they not play hard? That’s a lie.”
Guillen says his players really have no choice but to play hard.
“But when you make a comment saying your team doesn’t play hard enough, you’re not watching us. You’re not. Because first of all, there’s only two players in my lineup right now who have for-sure, for-sure, for-sure jobs next year, guaranteed. Only two (right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and shortstop Jose Reyes). Then the other guys have to bust their tails to convince us they can play for us next year.”
Unfortunately, the fact that they should doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. Justin Ruggiano is still giving it his all. Donovan Solano doesn’t look like much of a talent, but he’s making the most of his playing time. Carlos Lee? John Buck? Probably not.
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.