Travis Snider, rated as the #6 overall prospect entering the 2009 season, failed to live up to lofty expectations with the Blue Jays. They cut their losses, trading him to the Pittsburgh Pirates last July for reliever Brad Lincoln. Jays manager John Gibbons, though, is still a believer. Via Rob Biertempfel:
“There’s no question the talent’s there,” Gibbons said. “Sometimes it takes a little time.”
It reminds Gibbons of another player familiar to Pirates and Blue Jays fans: Jose Bautista.
“Bautista’s a perfect example,” Gibbons said. “He was bouncing around, and it took him a while to get it going. Sometimes what happens is they give up on you too soon. But if you’re in the perfect spot and they’ve got time to give you a legitimate shot, that’s when guys usually get it going.”
Snider, now 25 years old has a career .724 OPS in 1,062 career big league at-bats. Though he didn’t enjoy offensive success in his two months with the Pirates last year (.652 OPS), he did make this catch.
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.