The Rays: a little inconsistent on the no-smoking message

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It seems fairly simply to me: you either wear throwback jerseys for a team called “the Smokers” and go with all of the tobacco imagery that entails, or else you just avoid it altogether. The Rays, however, want to have it both ways, by wearing replicas of the old Tampa Smokers minor league team jerseys, but by censoring out the cigar that appears on the front:

Weak sauce, Rays. History is history, and the Smokers had cigars on the front of their shirts.  Either be cool with that and realize that no one is going to start smoking simply because Evan Longoria has a stogie on his shirt or, if that is just too offensive to your tender sensibilities, go in a different direction and throw back to the, I dunno, Tampa Lace Doilies or whatever makes you feel more comfortable.

(via Big League Stew)

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.