White Sox sign Orlando Hudson, put Brent Morel on DL

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UPDATE: Chicago just announced the Hudson signing and, as expected, placed Morel on the disabled list.

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It’s not official yet, but manager Robin Ventura confirmed what Peter Gammons of MLB.com reported over the weekend: Orlando Hudson is signing with the White Sox after being released by the Padres.

And not only that, with third baseman Brent Morel likely headed to the disabled list with a back injury Hudson is expected to see regular starts at third base, where he’s never played in 11 seasons. In fact, the 34-year-old Hudson has never played an inning anywhere other than second base.

San Diego is on the hook for the remaining $6 million or so on Hudson’s two-year, $11.5 million contract, so it’s a low-risk move for Chicago. Hudson hit just .238 with a .657 OPS in 154 total games for the Padres, but was a solid all-around player for the Twins as recently as 2010 and won’t have to hit much to be an upgrade over Morel offensively.

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.