Chicago beer sales down 30 percent with Cubs and White Sox both below .500

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With the White Sox in third place at 40-42 and the Cubs in fifth place at 34-48 the baseball in Chicago hasn’t been pretty this season, but as Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Tribune writes the beer sales at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field have also suffered.

O’Donnell reports that beer sales are down about 30 percent between both ballparks, which local vendors attribute to “the weather, the losses, the no-shows.”

Combined the two teams have sold an average of 3,400 fewer tickets per game compared to last season and the actual number of fans in attendance is likely even lower. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry probably can’t turn things around this season, but I’m pretty confident the fans at Wrigley Field are capable of picking up the slack if someone explains to them how pathetic their season-long consumption has been.

Or maybe we’ll just send Calcaterra to Chicago for a weekend.

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.