We talked yesterday about Davey Johnson being forced out of Washington, perhaps against his will. Same thing seems to be going on with Charlie Manuel in Philly.
Jim Salisbury from CSNPhilly.com quotes Ruben Amaro as being adamant that no discussions about Charlie Manuel’s status beyond 2013 will be had until after the season. Manuel is said to be on board with that approach as well, but Salisbury also says that Manuel wants to manage beyond this year. Waiting in the wings: Ryne Sandberg, the third base coach who is widely viewed as the heir apparent.
If the Phillies struggle this year it’s likely a non-issue as it will be time for a reassessment of the roster. At that point a new face in the dugout makes sense. But what if the Phillies bounce back? What if they make the playoffs? Does Charlie get a one year deal? More to the point, if it’s obvious that the Phillies are heading back to the playoffs come August, does Amaro change his stance on in-season negotiating?
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.