The Athletics name their new pitching coach

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You may want to sit down for this, but the A’s have named Ron Romanick their new pitching coach. He was formerly their bullpen coach.

I know. I reacted the same way. In fact, I’ll always remember where I was when I heard the news. Everything is different now. It’s like, everything that happened before I heard this news was in black and white and everything since is in crisply-rendered high definition.

Let’s see, what else . . . Romanick pitched in the big leagues for parts of three seasons with the Angels. They used to be called the California Angels then. His last game was on July 21, 1986. I was on a family vacation to Nova Scotia then. I remember this, because we left right after my 13th birthday, and that was a week before Romanick’s last game. So yeah, we were probably on Cape Breton looking at lobster traps or something around then.  Fun trip, though. We took the car ferry from Yarmouth back to Portland, Maine and since we were in international waters then, 13 year-old kids could play the slot machines. That’s about all I got on Romanick, folks.  If anyone has anything more to add, I’ll consider updating.

Oh, and, um, sorry about the weird pic of him. I know it kind of looks like a hostage “proof of life” photo, but it was the only one of him in an Athletics uniform I could find on the whole Internet.

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.