Sounds like someone put Icy-Hot in Stephen Strasburg’s jock

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No, that’s not some metaphor. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com tweets from Davey Johnson’s postgame presser:

Strasburg had one of his worst outings ever against the Padres, allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings in a 6-1 loss.  If, indeed, someone put this foul, combustible stuff in something that later touched his bits and pieces, well, it’s all understood. And all forgiven.

And of course, it would also mean that Strasburg has an almost 100% certainty of having a new nickname.

But this raises more questions than it gives answers. Who would perpetrate such a heinous act? Why prank The Franchise on a day he’s pitching?  And, dear lord, why is Davey Johnson sharing this with reporters?

UPDATE: Forgot about this. Maybe he did it to himself and he just wants to be like Roger Clemens. Both of them were in Washington, D.C. today. Maybe Rocket was giving the young, um, fireballer a little professional advice!

UPDATE II:  Turns out it wasn’t Icy-Hot!  Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that it was actually an ointment called “Hot Stuff.”  Tomorrow, Kilgore’s editors at the post will give him Bob Woodward’s old office and Carl Bernstein’s old typewriter in honor of his tenacious investigative reporting of this matter.

UPDATE III:  I suppose we’re obligated to call Strasburg a “fireballer” now, huh?

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.