The Astros promote Kevin Goldstein to Director of Professional Scouting

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We normally don’t spend much time on sub-GM front office moves, but in this case I’ll make an exception. Why? Because the sub-GM front office move involves a guy I know and, if you’ve read Baseball Prospectus, you know too: Kevin Goldstein. He was just promoted to Director of Professional Scouting by the Astros.

Goldstein originally joined the Astros in August of 2012 as a pro scouting coordinator. Prior to joining the organization, he wrote for both Baseball Prospectus and ESPN specializing in scouting and player development. Many other web-writers and analysts have made the leap to major league front offices, but not in as high a position as Goldstein now occupies. It’s not crazy to think he could be a general manager one day if the Astros rebuild proves successful.

Just an interesting note at a time of year when so many people who write about baseball falsely portray sabermetrics as the haven of out-of-touch spreadsheet jockeys. Interesting because one of the foremost sabermetric websites around has produced a scouting guy as opposed to a numbers cruncher and that he and all the stathead-friendly folks in the Astros front office play nicely together.

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.