Chris Narveson expected to be recovered from shoulder surgery by spring training

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Chris Narveson, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery two starts into 2012, “is expected to be back to 100 percent well before the start of spring training,” according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.

However, as it stands now he wouldn’t be assured of a spot in the Brewers’ rotation with Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Mike Fiers, Wily Peralta, Mark Rogers, and Tyler Thornburg also competing for jobs and the possibility of a late free agent addition joining the mix.

McCalvy writes that it “promises to be a spirited competition for four spots behind” Gallardo and Narveson admitted that competition “is what baseball is all about” because “it breeds better players and better teams.”

Before the injury Narveson had been a solid fourth or fifth starter for two seasons in Milwaukee and has a 4.68 ERA in 63 career starts, but the 31-year-old left-hander also has some experience as a reliever.

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.