The Indians have interest in a reunion with Casey Blake

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Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians are one of nine teams who have expressed interest in free agent Casey Blake.

Blake was limited to just 63 games this season in the final year of a three-year, $17.5 million contract. The 38-year-old batted .252/.342/.371 with four homers, 26 RBI and a .713 OPS over 239 plate appearances before undergoing season-ending surgery on his neck in early September.

Blake previously played with the Indians from 2003 until July of 2008 when he was swapped to the Dodgers in the trade that brought Carlos Santana to Cleveland. Sorry to bring that one up again, Dodgers fans.

While Blake is a major question mark health-wise, Hoynes writes that the Indians view him as a potential backup at the corner infield and outfield positions and also believe he could help balance out their lefty-heavy lineup. He’ll likely have to settle for a one-year, incentive-laden deal.

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.