Tigers, Cubs, Orioles talking about a potential three-way trade involving Rick Porcello and J.J. Hardy

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This could be fun, even if it’s somewhat vexing: MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Tigers have discussed trading Rick Porcello to the Cubs, with the Orioles involved as a possible third party.

The Orioles’ piece: J.J. Hardy, who Kubatko says the Tigers really want.  Which, given that Jhonny Peralta is already under contract with the Tigers and has nowhere else to play except short, doesn’t say a lot about their opinion of Peralta.

Less clear is what the Orioles would get.  They reportedly want pitching, but if they’re not getting Porcello here, this doesn’t make a ton of sense. Maybe the Cubs initiated all of it and the Tigers and the Orioles will dump them on the curb later and do their own thing?

I dunno. But at this point it’s more fun to think about than the Hall of Fame, right?

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.