Ryan Dempster actually called the Dodgers himself

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I know most of you are sick of the Ryan Dempster stuff, but I still find all of the things that led to his trade to the Rangers to be interesting. Here’s a new twist to it, reported by Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com: Dempster was so hung up on the Dodgers that Theo Epstein told him to call them himself:

Sources said that Dempster was so hung up on the Dodgers that the Cubs told him to directly call Ned Colletti. Dempster spoke with the Los Angeles general manager just before the deadline – eliminating that possibility – and then accepted a trade to the Texas Rangers.

Epstein’s explanation of this:

“It was an unusual situation,” Epstein said then. “But I think it was helpful to have him there. He could hear firsthand that it probably wasn’t going to happen. If someone really wants to go to a place, you can tell them over and over again it’s probably not going to happen. But unless they’re convinced of that, they may not want to move on to their second choice … There were certain things he needed to hear.”

But sure, Dempster was always willing to go to any contender. He in no way was hung up on the Dodgers. Ahem.

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.