Yesterday I said I’d be utterly shocked if David Ortiz wasn’t back with the Red Sox in 2013. I still will be, but Ken Rosenthal reports that there is at least some competition for Big Papi’s services:
The Boston Red Sox are not alone in their pursuit of designated hitter David Ortiz. The Texas Rangers also have expressed serious interest in Ortiz, major-league sources say, envisioning him as a left-handed hitting replacement for their own free agent, Josh Hamilton.
I find that more interesting for what it means for the Rangers — that they are possibly looking to add a big bat — than what it means for Ortiz and the Red Sox.
And I’m sure some people would be more concerned about what it means for Michael Young’s playing time. Not reasonable people, of course. Reasonable people would be quite happy about that.
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.