Josh Beckett injures back taking batting practice

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Yesterday afternoon the Red Sox announced that they were pushing Josh Beckett’s next start back from Wednesday versus the Blue Jays to Friday versus the Tigers, which also put him in line to miss the Yankees next week after giving up nine runs against them in his last outing.
At the time the move was not made because of an injury, but then just a few hours later Beckett strained his back while preparing for interleague play by taking batting practice in an indoor batting cage. He’ll undergo tests today to determine his status and in the meantime Tim Wakefield will slide back into the rotation Wednesday.
Beckett’s pushed-back start is now up in the air, although some extra time off may not be so bad given his 7.46 ERA and need to “refine his delivery” with pitching coach John Farrell. His peripheral numbers aren’t nearly as awful as his ERA, so assuming the back issues aren’t serious he’s a good bet to get on track.

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.