Jason Hammel undergoing surgery on right knee, out at least four weeks

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The Orioles celebrated a walkoff victory over the Tigers on Saturday, but they’re struggling to cling to an American League Wild Card spot and could be without one of their best starters for a while.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that Jason Hammel has cartilage “floating” in his right knee that gives him pain whenever he tries a bending motion. He’ll need surgery to fully relieve it, and the rehab for such a procedure takes at least seven weeks.

Hammel will sleep on it, weighing whether to try and pitch through the discomfort. He’s going to be placed on the 15-day disabled list before the Orioles close out their three-game set Sunday against the Tigers.

25-year-old left-hander Brian Matusz will likely get another crack at the starting rotation no matter what Hammel decides to do. He has a 5.42 ERA, 1.71 WHIP and 62/38 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings this season.

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SUNDAY, 11:31 AM: Connolly reports that Hammel is indeed having the surgery, but it’s of the arthroscopic variety and he might miss only four weeks. Still, it’s certainly a tough blow to the fading O’s.

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.