Jays' Romero pitches within six outs of no-hitter

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romero throwing.JPGToronto left-hander Ricky Romero put on a show this evening at the Rogers Centre, tossing seven innings of no-hit baseball before grazing White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski with an inside pitch and allowing a two-run homer to Alex Rios in the top of the eighth inning.  In all, Chicago managed just one hit on Romero over eight superb innings.

The 25-year-old southpaw also pitched well in his 2010 debut last week against the Rangers and owns a 1.80 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 16/4 K/BB ratio through 15 innings (two starts) this season.  A former first-round pick, Romero has all the talent in the world and a strong arsenal of pitches.  Finally, he’s starting to put it all together.

The Blue Jays are off to a 6-2 start and currently sit atop the American League East standings.

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.