Nationals sign Ross Ohlendorf to minor league deal

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Washington has one of the best, deepest rotations in baseball, but general manager Mike Rizzo has talked all offseason about wanting to have extra depth on hand and Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports that the Nationals have signed Ross Ohlendorf to a minor-league deal.

Ohlendorf was a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Pirates in 2009 and 2010, throwing 285 innings with a 3.98 ERA, but he’s been injured and ineffective since then.

Last season Ohlendorf got knocked around for a 7.77 ERA in 49 innings for the Padres and his ERA was even worse in 2011, so the 30-year-old right-hander is purely Triple-A depth until proven otherwise.

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.