Phillies place Roy Oswalt on disabled list, release J.C. Romero

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Roy Oswalt is worried about his back problems forcing him into retirement, so it’s no surprise that the Phillies have placed him on the disabled list before even waiting for the results of the MRI exam scheduled for Monday.

There seems to be a legitimate fear that he’ll never pitch again and if he does come back it certainly won’t be within two weeks, so the DL stint was a no-brainer. Scott Mathieson replaced Oswalt on the roster.

Along with putting Oswalt on the shelf the Phillies also released J.C. Romero, who predictably passed through waivers unclaimed after they designated him for assignment last week. Between his $1.35 million salary and disastrous numbers versus right-handed hitters Romero simply wasn’t worth a waiver claim and will probably have to work his way back to the majors on a minor-league contract. He’s merely a left-handed specialist at this point.

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.