Josh Hamilton set to undergo MRI on groin

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From columnist Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News comes word that Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his groin late Thursday night in Philadelphia.

Hamilton was bothered by the groin injury throughout the 2011 postseason, batting just .271/.289/.414 in 76 plate appearances while homering only once.

If Thursday night’s MRI reveals a sports hernia, he could have surgery within the next 48 hours.

Hamilton is expected to play left field on a full-time basis in 2012 to limit the wear and tear on his body, specifically his lower half. He made 30 starts in center field this past season, 29 starts there in 2010 and another 55 starts in center in 2009.

The results of the MRI should be available at some point Friday morning.

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.