Mike Baxter, Dodgers avoid arbitration

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Black Friday door-buster deals! An outfielder for a mere $700k!

 

Baxter was claimed by the Dodgers off waivers from the Mets in October. He was arbitration eligible for the first time as a super two. He showed a lot of promise in 2011 and 2012, posting a .363 OBP in 251 plate appearances. In 2013 he was pretty terrible, though, batting .189 and posting an OBP of .303.

He’s worth a $700K gamble, however, especially if the Dodgers either trade and outfielder or, as has been the case much of the past couple of seasons, they need a one or two hundred plate appearances from a reserve to cover for Matt Kemp or Carl Crawford injuries.

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.