That report about the Marlins being close to a deal with Jose Valverde has been deemed “a typical ploy by Scott Boras,” but Miami has added some veteran bullpen help in the form of Jon Rauch on a one-year contract worth $1 million.
Rauch will presumably act as the primary setup man for closer Steve Cishek, but has some closing experience himself and could work his way into the ninth-inning mix at some point.
Last season Rauch threw 58 innings with a 3.59 ERA and 42/12 K/BB ratio for the Mets and the 6-foot-10 right-hander has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in seven of the past nine seasons. He’s a solid pickup for a team that certainly needs pitching help.
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.