Alex Rodriguez will not be activated until Friday

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According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Yankees manager Joe Girardi poured some cooling solution Wednesday on the idea that third baseman Alex Rodriguez might be activated from the 15-day disabled list in time for Thursday night’s series-opening game against the Twins.

A-Rod went 4-for-10 with a double and a home run during a successful four-game minor league rehab assignment and has reported no lingering pain or discomfort in his surgically-repaired right knee, but the Yankees want to play it safe and may ease their veteran slugger back into action.

Here’s Girardi, speaking to Hoch and the Yankees’ other beat reporters:

“Our plans right now are still to bring him to Minnesota tomorrow if everything goes OK,” Girardi said. “We may not activate him. We may just have him go through some things for a couple of days, then wait a couple of days to activate him.”

Rodriguez, 35, was batting .295/.366/.485 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI in 344 plate appearances before his knee procedure. The Yankees have been relying on Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez at the hot corner.

UPDATE, 10:40PM: According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, Rodriguez told reporters at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that he will not be playing for the Yankees on Thursday night.

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.