Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Indians are interested in signing 1B/DH Carlos Santana to a contract extension. Santana is currently in the last year of his contract after the Indians picked up his $12 million club option for the 2017 season last November.
Heyman suggests Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo are reasonable comparisons. Morales signed a three-year, $33 million contract with the Blue Jays and Trumbo inked a three-year, $37.5 million pact with the Orioles during the offseason.
Last season, Santana hit .259/.366/.498 with 34 home runs and 87 RBI in 688 plate appearances. He started off this season with a pair of doubles, a home run, and four RBI in his team’s first three games.
Santana also has flexibility, which isn’t often said of 1B/DH types. He was brought up as a catcher and has played some third base. Of course, the Indians hope to never have to use him behind the plate unless in an emergency situation.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.