The Nationals sign Oliver Perez

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The Nationals have signed Oliver Perez to a minor league deal, says Yahoo!’s Tim Brown.

Low risk and low money, so why not? At the moment the Nats’ depth chart has a rotation of Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmermann, Tom Gorzelanny and John Lannan.  I’m struggling to see which of those guys is supposed to be a worse option than Ollie Perez, but it’s not like it would be unexpected for a couple of them to stink up the joint.  Maybe if Ollie can figure something out down in the minors he’ll be some useful cannon fodder for the Nats at some point.

And if not? Hey, you’ve raised the morale of the other pitchers in the organization who see that, yes, it is possible to be even more hittable and walk-tastic than they already are.

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.