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MLB Storylines: Santana discusses potential position switch

MLB Storylines: Santana discusses potential position switch
January 18, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

Here are the stories from Friday, January 17th.

Top Stories

  • Cleveland’s Carlos Santana continues to prepare in the Dominican Republic for possible time at third base in 2014.  Although this experiment has been known by Indians fans for several weeks, a new report indicates that this could be a more permanent move than originally expected.  In an article on ESPN Deportes (in Spanish), Santana says that he is only preparing to play third at this point.  He said that those are the plans of the team and that they asked him to play third in the Dominican Winter League.  Santana stated that he took about a month to decide that he would accept the switch to third. [Editor's note: It is important to note that Santana's quote might be taken out of context by a lot of people. His quote about only concentrating on third base and that there are no plans to do anything else likely is in regard to his plan currently in the Dominican where he is only playing third base and that is the only area of focus at the moment. Read the article for yourself here.]
  • There were several arbitration related moves across the MLB on Friday, so I will once again post the link for the MLB Trade Rumors’ 2014 Arbitration Tracker.  So far, the Indians have avoided arbitration with four players, agreeing to one-year deals: Frank Herrmann ($560K), Blake Wood ($560K), Josh Outman($1.25M) and Mark Rzepczynski on Friday for $1.375M.  Four players still remained unsigned: Michael Brantley (requested $3.8M, offered $2.7M), Justin Masterson (requested $11.8M, offered $8.05M), Vinnie Pestano (requested $1.45M, offered $975K), and Josh Tomlin (requested  $975 thousand, offered $800 thousand).

News and Notes

  •’s Mark Sheldon reported that Reds general manager Walt Jocketty stated that the Reds are now discussing a long-term extension with pitcher Homer Bailey.
  • The Rays and David Price avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $14 million deal.  However, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Price still knows he could be traded before the start of 2014.  Topkin said that the closer we get to Spring Training, the more confident Price feels that he will be a Ray for the 2014 season.
  • A source told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is about 6-8 weeks ahead of schedule in his rehab from knee surgery.  That timeline would allow Machado to be ready for or soon after Opening Day.
  • Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post stated that both Chicago teams are serious contenders for Masahiro Tanaka.  Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Dodgers are actively involved in discussions with Tanaka.

User Comments

January 20, 2014 - 3:03 PM EST
I agree, $11.8M seems way too high for Masterson. Had he countered with $10M I'd have said the same thing. $9-9.5M seems may more reasonable IMO.

That said...I wonder if the Tribe may not use that $11.8M as a potential starting point with extension talks. By that I mean agree to give him $12M or so in 2014 (can't see him getting that even if he goes to a hearing) as part of an agreement that goes an additional 3-4 years on top of 2014.
January 20, 2014 - 2:59 PM EST
I'd love for this to be true with Santana, at least the part of him being completely done with catching....but the way the Indians have gone about this offseason it just doesn't seem like that's the case. They could have had a guy like John Buck but passed. Could have signed several minor league free agent types (Marson, Chris Snyder, etc) but instead have only brought in Matt Treanor. Maybe I'm in the minority here (doubt it), but Treanor just doesn't seem like a guy I'd want starting potentially 40 games, especially with the Indians looking to make the playoffs.
January 18, 2014 - 9:38 AM EST
I did not know that the Indians wanted him to work at 3B this off season. I thought it was Santana's idea since he is against being a full time DH.

I think Masterson salary request is a bit high since he has not shown any consistency of putting a string of good pitching seasons year to year. His history shows one good year followed with bad year. If that pattern holds than there should be a concern for the upcoming season.

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