Link-O-Rama: Parra's collapse, Contreras' revival

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* Milwaukee dumping Manny Parra from the rotation
yesterday was a long time coming. Not only has he been awful recently,
going 0-4 with a 13.50 ERA over his last five starts, Parra is 5-14
with a 6.41 ERA since last season’s All-Star break. Prior to that he
was 8-2 with a 3.78 ERA, so the collapse has been pretty shocking.

* On the other hand, Jose Contreras has thrown 16 straight scoreless innings since returning from Triple-A after starting the season 0-5 with an 8.19 ERA.

* Much like with Brandon Wood, it sounds as though manager Mike Scioscia has no plans
to make call-up Sean Rodriguez a regular in the Angels’ lineup.
Rodriguez has hit .290/.377/.637 with 42 homers over 124 games in the
admittedly hitter-friendly environment at Triple-A, whereas Maicer
Izturis is a career .273/.338/.377 hitter in the majors.

* Rodriguez was called up because the Angels sent Howie Kendrick
back to Triple-A after he hit just .231 through 51 games this year.
Kendrick came into the season as a career .306 hitter in 252 games
through the age of 24. Here’s a list
of all the second basemen in baseball history who hit for a higher
batting average than Kendrick through the age of 24: Eddie Collins,
Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Rod Carew.

* Eric Chavez’s season is over and his career is seemingly in serious jeopardy following news that he needs a second back surgery to go along with his three shoulder operations. As manager Bob Geren put it: “This is his best chance to play again.”

* Joe Morgan’s mind is playing tricks on him.

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.