Plans for a fantasy Tampa Bay Rays ballpark revealed

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We mentioned the other day that a developer in St. Petersburg was going to unveil plans for a new Rays ballpark today.  He did, and here’s an artist’s rendering.

Pretty.  It’s supposed to hold 35,000 people which, hey, I suppose it could happen someday.  It’s also supposed to cost between $540 million to $577 million if they go with a retractable roof or fixed-roof version, and $424 million for an open air stadium. Which would be monumentally stupid in Florida.

No sense of how anyone would pay for this, how it jibes with the iron-clad lease the Rays currently have for Tropicana Field or anything of that nature.  But hey, pretty pictures.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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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.