With runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fifth with his team down 3-1, Denard Span was in the mindset of tying the game for his team. Span requested time from home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was not granted. Lee continued with his wind-up and fired an inside fastball that nearly hit Span.
Span was upset that Lee threw inside, as he could clearly be seen saying “c’mon man” after the pitch. Lee shrugged it off and threw a low fastball for ball two before Span slapped an RBI ground out to the right side to cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-2. As he jogged off the field, it appears Lee said something to Span, which caused Span to stop dead in his tracks and turn back towards Lee. The two exchanged barbs and the dugouts and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown and the situation was deescalated. Amid the crowd, Lee seemed bemused by the whole situation.
Watch the benches clear:
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.