Padres to promote Andrew Cashner for Thursday start

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Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner was sent to Double-A San Antonio on June 10 to begin making the transition from reliever to starter. After only three minor-league outings — in which he posted a 1.88 ERA and 22/3 K/BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings — the flame-throwing 25-year-old is on his way back.

According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Cashner is scheduled to start for the Padres on Thursday night against the Astros at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. If it goes well (or even if it doesn’t) he’ll be a mainstay in the San Diego rotation going forward.

Cashner has averaged 98.8 mph with his fastball this year in the majors. He also boasts a decent slider and changeup, and should be able to post some impressive numbers while making half his starts at Petco Park.

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.