Kerry Wood and Cubs interested in working out another deal

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Last offseason Kerry Wood turned down bigger offers to rejoin the Cubs and earlier this month he expressed interest in doing it again, saying that he liked the team’s move to hire Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.

It sounds like the feeling is mutual, as Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Wood recently had a meeting with Epstein at a local pub and Hoyer was full of praise when discussing the 34-year-old reliever.

And it also helps that Wood had a very good season for the Cubs, throwing 51 innings with a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio while earning just $1.5 million.

Levine writes that Wood left as much as $8 million on the table last winter, so presumably the two sides will be able to work something out again.

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.