Hey look, a Hank Steinbrenner sighting

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Hank Steinbrenner.jpgAll of the Yankees brass is in the far east on a goodwill tour, leaving Hank Steinbrenner back home to mind the store.  A reporter caught up with him, no doubt hoping that with his minders away Hank would revert to 2008 form and bring the crazy.  Take it away Hankenstein!

“The two trades that Brian did, I was really pleased with and very proud of,” Steinbrenner said. “I think that is going to make a big difference for us.”

Steinbrenner was particularly supportive of the deal for Vazquez, in which the Yankees gave up Melky Cabrera and minor league pitchers Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. The general partner and co-chairman of the Yankees believes that the acquisition of Vazquez was more critical toward defending their championship than not bringing back Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui.

“We needed another top-notch starter and got one,” said Steinbrenner.

He also said that Derek Jeter is a good baseball player and is important to the Yankees and everything. He probably also said that the sky was blue, water is wet and cornbread is tasty.

In other words, it appears as though Hal left his brother with enough medication to last until he returns. A shame, really. I miss the old Hank.

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.