With Joe Girardi staying in New York, the other managerial job openings move to the fore. Hard to say who goes where — I’m personally anticipating a Jim Riggleman bidding war between the Reds, Cubs and Nats, none of which can quit him — but at least one guy has an idea of where he wants to go. From Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:
Longtime manager Dusty Baker, whom the Reds fired late last week, contacted General Manager Mike Rizzo through his agent to inform the Nationals he is interested in the job. Baker said no interview has been schedule, and it is not clear if the Nationals have reciprocal interest in him.
Baker confirmed to Kilgore that he reached out and is interested.
Man, I dunno. One of the things that seems kinda clear from Washington is that Mike Rizzo really had his fill of a well-established veteran manager who cuts a large figure in the media. No, Dusty isn’t Davey Johnson, but the idea that the reporters are going to come by every day to hear what he has to say rather than report the Nationals company line is the kind of dynamic one gets the sense that Rizzo wants to move away from. Better to get more of a company man like a Randy Knorr or a less-experienced guy like Matt Williams who won’t upstage the front office.
I obviously could be wrong about that. It’s just a vibe I get from reading all manner of stories about Rizzo, Johnson and the Nats. Either way, I’d be kind of surprised if they went after Dusty Baker.
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.