Yankees send Ivan Nova to Triple-A to make room for Phil Hughes

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A four-game winning streak wasn’t enough to save Ivan Nova’s roster spot.

In spite of the rookie right-hander’s recent success, he was shipped back to Triple-A on Sunday, with reliever Lance Pendleton coming up to claim his spot.  Phil Hughes is expected to come off the DL on Wednesday to take over in the rotation.

Nova was coming off a win over the Mets on Friday in which he allowed one run in five innings.  The Yankees had won each of his last five starts, with the 24-year-old going 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in the process.  For the season, Nova was 8-4 with a 4.12 ERA.

Still, unless the Yankees decided to suddenly reverse course and send Hughes to the pen, either Nova or Freddy Garcia had to go.  Were the Yankees forced to pick one of the two for the rest of the season, they probably would have chosen Nova.  But Garcia has pitched plenty well enough to stick around, having amassed a 3.28 ERA in 85 innings, and unlike Nova, he wasn’t going to be a phone call away in Triple-A if he had been jettisoned.

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.