Mets, Escobar agree to major league deal

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UPDATED: Escobar passed his physical, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman.

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick has confirmed that the Mets and right-hander Kelvim Escobar have agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.

Francisco Blavia of Lider en Deportes, a Venezuelan news service, first reported the news on Twitter.  Escobar will be handed a $125,000 bonus if he makes the Mets’ Opening Day roster.  He can also earn up to $2 million in performance-based incentives.

The 33-year-old right-hander has made just one major league appearance in the last two years because of lingering shoulder issues, but he compiled a 3.40 ERA over 30 starts in 2007 and has a 4.15 ERA in 202 career major league starts.  The Mets are expected to try him out as a setup man.

The deal is pending only a completed physical, which Crasnick believes should run smoothly.

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.