A-Rod returns from DL, is back in Yankees' lineup

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Good news here from Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been activated from the disabled list and is in Sunday’s lineup against the Blue Jays, batting cleanup and again manning the hot corner.

A-Rod has been officially sidelined for about three weeks with a strained left calf and has not played a full game since August 15.  He will return to .265/.333/.485 batting line, 21 home runs and 97 RBI.  It’s been an off year for the 35-year-old, sure, but he’s still been plenty productive and will almost certainly lock up his 13th straight 100-RBI season.

The Yanks are currently 86-50 and have pulled to a 2.5-game lead over the Rays in the American League East.

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.