Brandon Morrow allows five runs in three-inning start at Single-A

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The Blue Jays placed right-hander Brandon Morrow on the 15-day disabled list at the start of the regular season due to forearm inflammation. On Thursday, he took a big but shaky step toward returning.

According to John Lott of Toronto’s National Post, Morrow allowed five runs — four earned — over just three innings in a rehab outing at Single-A Dunedin. He struck out only two batters and walked one.

The poor results are somewhat worrisome, but Morrow showed ace-like stuff in the second half of the 2010 season and may have been working out some of his lingering discomfort on the Single-A mound this evening. He’ll get at least one more rehab start to build his arm strength and he should hit the ground running when Toronto finally activates him from the disabled list.

Aaron Gleeman picked Morrow as one of his “breakout picks” of 2011 during spring training.

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.