The Yankees sign Chan Ho Park

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Chan Ho Park headshot.jpgThomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have signed reliever Chan Ho Park to a one-year, $1.2 million deal with incentives that could reach $300,000.  The deal is pending a physical. And, presumably, the shaving of his Chan Ho Beard.

Park put up a 2.52 ERA in 50 innings out of the pen last year with the kind of stuff and velocity we haven’t seen from him since the Clinton administration. For the second straight year he signs with a team he blanked in the previous postseason, having jumped from L.A. to Philly after pitching well in the 2008 NLCS. There’s probably a primacy/recency lesson in there somewhere, but I just can’t tease it out right now.

If he pitches in 2010 like he did in 2009, the Yankees will have a pretty dominant 7th, 8th and 9th inning bullpen trifecta in Park, Hughes/Joba and Rivera.  Good signing by Cashman and the Yankees.

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.