Link-O-Rama: Cubs trying to re-sign Grabow

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* Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that “the Cubs have begun talks with left-handed pitcher John Grabow on a two-year contract extension.”
An impending free agent who was acquired from the Pirates just before the July 31 trading deadline, Grabow has a 2.41 ERA and 12/11 K/BB ratio in 18.2 innings for the Cubs. Lou Piniella announced yesterday that Carlos Marmol will be the Cubs’ full-time closer next season, so Grabow would be his primary setup man from the left side.
* Pedro Martinez is feeling so good after beginning his Phillies career 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA that he’s planning to pitch in the Dominican Winter League for the first time in 15 years.
* Among all hitters with at least 1,000 plate appearances since the beginning of last season, there are 12 with a .300 batting average and .375 on-base percentage. The first 11 contain zero surprises: Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Kevin Youkilis, Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Nick Markakis, and Derek Jeter. The last guy? Well, he might surprise you.
* Trey Hillman thinks that people ought to stop judging the Royals on their horrible win-loss record, bad pitching, punchless hitting, and sloppy defense, and start judging them on their attitude. On a related note, I’m of the opinion that women ought to stop judging men on their looks, personality, money, sense of humor, and status in life, and start judging them on their ability to write pithy blog entries about the Royals.

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.