Quote of the Day II: Verlander's priorities have changed

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“That’s going to take a couple hours off my night.”
– Detroit Tigers All-Star Justin Verlander, discussing how an increased role in the All-Star game will impact his social life.

Verlander was joking, obviously, when asked to compare his first All-Star appearance in 2007, when he hardly expected to get into the game, versus his current role as one of the veteran pitchers on a young AL staff.

It’s good to know he has his priorities straight. After all, the Tigers are in first place, second place, a half game behind the White Sox. Who knows, maybe home-field advantage in the World Series could mean something for the Tigers. How late is Disneyland open, anyway?

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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.