As the best all-around first baseman on the free agent market*, it will not be a surprise when reports start flooding in about other team’s being interested in Carlos Santana. First up is the Seattle Mariners who, according to Jon Morosi, are interested in the slugger, though have the two sides have not had any conversations yet.
Last season, the Mariners deployed a mix of Yonder Alonso, Danny Espinosa, Dan Vogelbach, Mike Freeman, and Danny Valencia to man first base. It didn’t go great. Seattle first basemen finished last in FanGraphs WAR at -0.7 wins in 2017, and they had the third lowest wRC+ at 92.
The first shoe has yet to drop and set the free agent market, but with Jay Bruce basically demanding his own private island to be a designated hitter somewhere, we shouldn’t expect deals to come fast and hard until more negotiations take place. The Stove remains lukewarm.
The Cleveland Indians extended the $17.4 million qualifying offer to Santana last week, and he has until Thursday to decide whether or not he picks it up. According to Paul Hoynes, and everyone else in the world, he’s probably not going to take it and will instead opt to find a longer deal as he enters his 30s and potentially the tail end of his prime.
*There’s no qualification here. He’s better than Eric Hosmer in every conceivable way.