The Baseball Winter Meetings have begun in Orlando, Florida as all 30 Major League teams as well as the agents have flocked to Disney World to discuss potential free agent signings and trades among other topics.
The Cleveland Indians are looking to keep some of their free agents with them but are also looking at potential options in case guys like Carlos Santana and Jay Bruce leave for another team.
When it comes to Jay Bruce, it doesn’t look like a long-term relationship will happen as a report came out on Monday that four teams (Mets, Rockies, Mariners and Blue Jays) were interested in the slugger’s services.
Bruce, who the Indians acquired in August played in 43 games and hit .248 with 7 home runs and 26 RBIs. He also hit .278 with two home runs and four RBIs in the American League Division Series against the Yankees.
The Indians main target has been retaining first baseman Carlos Santana. The 31 year old veteran has been with the Indians since being acquired from the Dodgers during the 2008 season. He’s hit 174 home runs and drove in 587 runs during his career and has also become a reliable glove during his transition from catcher to first base.
He’s a sought after bat due to his power and switch hitting ability as well as the glove and plenty of teams have shown interest. The Rockies, Padres, Rangers, Phillies, Red Sox and Mariners are pursuing the slugger.
The Indians made an offer to him before end of the season of three years, $36 million. Obviously that offer won’t cut it and neither did the one year qualifying offer of $17.4 million.
It’s been reported that Cleveland will up the offer and that they will get the chance to counter-offer or match any deal that Santana receives from another team.
While Santana and his agent listen to offers, that isn’t stopping the Indians from looking at potential fall back options in case Santana leaves Cleveland.
Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and The Athletic reported on Tuesday afternoon that the Indians would be interested in free agent first baseman Logan Morrison if Santana chooses to sign elsewhere.
Morrison spent the last two seasons in Tampa Bay and has also spent time in Seattle and Miami. The 30 year old hit .246 with a career high 38 home runs and 85 RBIs in 149 games last season. He had an on base percentage of .353, slugged .516 and his OPS was at a career high of .869.
Spotrac calculates Morrison’s value at an average salary of $15.8 million per season on a three year deal ($47.67 million total). They calculated Santana’s value at $18.2 million per season on a five year deal ($91.46 million total).
Other free agent first basemen the Indians could look at include
- Yonder Alonso: .266, 28 HRs, 67 RBIs
- Lucas Duda: .217, 30 HRs, 64 RBIs
- Mitch Moreland: .246, 22 HRs, 79 RBIs
- Mark Reynolds: .267, 30 HRs, 97 RBIs
- Mike Napoli: .193, 29 HRs, 66 RBIs