As we noted yesterday, the Cubs are seeking minority investors in order to help fund the renovations to Wrigley Field and the development of the neighborhood around the ballpark. One potential investor? The most famous investor of them all:
Warren Buffett, the world’s fourth-richest person, is interested in investing in the Chicago Cubs, according to a source who traded candor for anonymity . . . The Ricketts family hails from Omaha, the same city that is home to Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway .
Buffett has baseball ownership experience. Or at least investing experience, as he owned a minority share of the Omaha Triple-A team, so it’s not totally foreign territory for him.
It would be interesting, though, as being a minority shareholder in a closely held baseball team like the Cubs would give him little if any say in how the asset is managed. In a lot of ways doing that is a vanity investment, and Buffet is a lot of things, but a vanity investor is not one of them.
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.