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Joe Girardi on Yankees: ‘I thought I’d be back’

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Joe Girardi gave his first in-depth interview since being dismissed by the New York Yankees the other day. It was to Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic. While that’s a subscription site, this story is open to anyone to read until 8AM Eastern tomorrow morning.

In the interview, Girardi said that he was “surprised” that the Yankees let his contract expire and let him leave:

“I was surprised. With the year that we had and the progress the team had made, I thought I would be back. Obviously, there is a ton of talent there, a ton of great young talent. I was excited about that. I thought I’d be back.”

That aside, there is nothing controversial or combative in the interview. Girardi seems to be pretty zen about it all, more thankful that he had ten years in New York than upset at the fact that his time is over. He thanked Hal Steinbrenner specifically for telling him that, whenever he feels like coming back to be a larger part of the Yankees family in some other role, he can give him a call. Girardi, for his part, said that would come later, though, as he still wants to manage someplace. Not that there are any openings right now aside from the Yankees gig.

Girardi also tells Rosenthal that he’s opening to doing TV. My guess is that, until managers start getting fired next season, that’s where we’ll be seeing Girardi.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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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.