Tim Wakefield wouldn’t mind pitching beyond 2011

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Tim Wakefield is only under contract through this season. And he’s going to turn 45 in August. But he still wants to pitch:

“The door is always open. Until you actually see me sit down at that press conference and say that I’m going to retire, I wouldn’t count on anything right now. I just said it last year — that [2011] could be my last year, depending on my role or what might happen health-wise, but I’m not closing that door yet by no means.”

That’s just how knuckleballers roll.  Er, flutter.

Wakefield suffered through his worst year since 1993 last season, and wasn’t all that happy or comfortable handling swingman duties.  But you never know with guys like him. At this point in his career Charlie Hough had three seasons as a starter in his future, two of which ended up being around league average. Neikro had five seasons in his future, one of which was an All-Star year in which he went 16-8 with a 3.09 ERA for the Yankees.

Wakefield has had some physical problems recently, but if he’s healthy, there’s no reason why he couldn’t still be useful beyond 2011, even if it isn’t for the Red Sox.

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.