UPDATE: Darvish says he was just joking around about the Tanaka comments and apparently both Darvish and his interpreter were laughing as he said the quotes, although as you can see below that bit of context was oddly left out by several reporters on hand.
Yu Darvish was asked today what he thought of the Yankees signing Masahiro Tanaka out of Japan for $155 million and his answer is sure to fire up a lot of New Yorkers:
By comparison, Darvish got $56 million to sign with the Rangers two offseason ago, but Texas also had to send his old team in Japan another $51.7 million in posting fees. In two years in the majors he’s thrown 401 innings with a 3.34 ERA, including a league-leading 277 strikeouts and a 2.83 ERA in 210 innings last season.
Which is why when Darvish also said today that his success–and the success of several other prominent Japanese pitchers recently–helped get Tanaka a bigger contract he’s no doubt right.
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.