Report: Mets interested in trading for Justin Upton

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We heard earlier today that the Mets are looking at free agent Scott Hairston as a “fallback option” and will only sign him if they can’t find someone better for their outfield. It’s not a surprise who they have on their wish list.

Sources tell Marc Carig of New York Newsday that the Mets are again interested in trading for Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. It’s viewed as a longshot, though, as it’s unlikely they’ll give up enough prospects to make a deal. One would think that Zack Wheeler wouldn’t be on the table, so names like Noah Syndergaard and Wilmer Flores probably won’t get it done.

It was reported yesterday that Upton rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Mariners for a package which included prospect right-hander Taijuan Walker and prospect infielder Nick Franklin. The Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs are the other clubs on Upton’s no-trade list, so the D-Backs would not need his approval to send him to the Mets.

The Rangers have reportedly “moved on” from Upton, so many have pegged the Braves as the favorites, where he could play with his brother, B.J. Upton.

 

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.