Rangers acquire Andres Blanco from Cubs

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Here’s a minor transaction, as the Rangers have acquired infielder Andres Blanco from the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Blanco, who turns 26 in April, batted .252/.303/.341 with one home run and 12 RBI in 123 at-bats for the Cubs last season. He was out of options and from what I understand, he didn’t figure into the team’s plans this season. With experience at second base and shortstop in the majors, he could hang on as the utility type Texas has been looking for since they voided Khalil Greene’s contract in February.

Probably the most significant thing to come out of this, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com believes that the trade of Blanco could open a spot on the roster for Kevin Millar and Chad Tracy, both of whom are non-roster invitees.

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.