Brewers signing Zack Greinke is “a long shot” despite chat with general manager

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Brewers general manager Doug Melvin admitted yesterday that he recently chatted on the phone with Zack Greinke, leading to speculation that the free agent returning to Milwaukee might be possible.

Melvin stressed that he simply likes talking baseball with Greinke–which is something he’s said in the past as well–and added that the right-hander “didn’t tip his hand” in terms of a potential landing spot.

As for the rumors, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes that they’re much like the previous rumors linking the Brewers to Josh Hamilton, calling them both “a long shot.”

Melvin himself downplayed the chances of signing Hamilton and McCalvy notes that the Brewers “are in the process of paring payroll after pushing over $100 million last season for the first time in club history.”

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.