Josh Byrnes’ chair isn’t even cold yet, but there are already leaks about who the Padres are considering to replace him. One of them is an old friend. From Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
The club has had internal discussions about bringing back former GM Kevin Towers, according to a high-ranking club official with direct knowledge of the discussions. The person was unauthorized to divulge the discussions because the GM search is ongoing.
Towers used to be the Padres’ GM, of course. He was fired. His is likely to be fired by the Dbacks sometime this season given that Tony La Russa has been brought in to change the entire organization.
Unsolicited advice to the Padres: there is literally one team in the National League worse than you right now. Maybe hiring the guy who made them what they are is not the best idea.
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.