Theo Epstein compensation watch: the Cubs send Chris Carpenter and a PTBNL to the Red Sox

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No, not that Chris Carpenter. He’s still a Cardinal. This is the Cubs reliever. Who will now be a Boston Red Sox in exchange for the Cubs hiring away Theo Epstein. There will be a player to be named later too, so it’s not like this is ever ending, apparently.

Not a significant player, really. Carpenter has a total of 10 major league games worth of relief duty under his belt. He throws hard but walks a lot of guys. He has spent four seasons bouncing around the Cubs’ system, posting a 21-19 record and a 3.62 ERA and some fairly high walk rates in 96 games, 60 of which he started.

He’s 26, so he’s not a prospect, but it’s possible that he could become a major league reliever if he could improve the command a bit.

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.