Yu Darvish on track to start Sunday against Angels

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Yu Darvish was scratched from his scheduled start on Tuesday due to a stiff neck, but the Rangers won’t be without him for long.

According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Rangers officials said Darvish’s neck felt better after a long-toss session earlier today. He’s currently scheduled to throw off a mound tomorrow, which sets up a potential return this Sunday against Zack Greinke and the Angels. That should be a doozy of a matchup.

Darvish has compiled a 3.90 ERA through 28 starts in his first year stateside and currently ranks fourth in the American League with 214 strikeouts in 184 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old right-hander has logged seven straight quality starts and has a 1.46 ERA and a 42/8 K/BB ratio over his last five outings. Assuming he feels good enough to make the start Sunday, he’ll be in line to start Game 1 of the postseason.

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.