Zack Greinke to begin minor league rehab stint Tuesday

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The Brewers are finally close to getting a look at their new ace.

According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Zack Greinke threw two simulated innings this afternoon, after which he said he’s ready to go out on a minor league rehab assignment.

Greinke will make his first rehab appearance Tuesday for High-A Brevard County before pitching with Triple-A Nashville five days later.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke believes Greinke will need three rehab outings before being activated from the disabled list, which likely places his activation somewhere around May 4 in Atlanta.

“Once he gets around 75 pitches, then he’s pretty much ready (for the majors),” said Roenicke. “He needs to pitch at least three times. He’ll be coming back and forth (from the Brewers to the minors).”

Greinke, who was acquired from the Royals in December, has been sidelined since the early part of March with a fractured rib.

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.