Red Sox and Ryan Sweeney avoid arbitration with one-year, $1.75 million deal

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According to the Associated Press, the Red Sox and Ryan Sweeney avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

Sweeney, who was acquired from the Athletics last month in the Andrew Bailey trade, earned $1.4 million last season while batting .265/.346/.341 with one home run, 25 RBI and a .687 OPS over 299 plate appearances. The 27-year-old outfielder is under team control through 2013.

The Red Sox may add another outfielder before spring training, but it currently looks like Sweeney will share playing time in right field with Darnell McDonald and possibly Mike Aviles. Ryan Kalish underwent surgery in November to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, but he could be a factor in May or June.

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.