When I lived in Washington D.C. there was a team in Montreal and no team in the District, so seeing and hearing about the Orioles around town wasn’t a big deal. Apparently that’s changed a bit in the past decade. To the point where the Orioles putting up a billboard in Washington has ruffled some feathers. JP Finlay of CSNWashington.com has a report on that and on fan reaction.
The last time we heard of this kind of kerfuffle it was in Los Angeles when the Angels were seen putting up billboards in L.A. proper, and it was seen by many as a symbol for the waning influence of the Dodgers under Frank McCourt and the ascendance of the boys from Anaheim. Personally, I think that reads too much into that or any similar situation.
The reality: billboards are cheap advertising.
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.