Rafael Soriano got his visa, will report this weekend

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Bad news: the mocked-up milk carton of a missing Rafael Sorinao I made is no longer useful. Good news: it’s because he got his visa and is reporting to camp:

Nationals closer Rafael Soriano will not be absent for long. He was able to get his visa in the Dominican Republic on Friday and will report to Nats camp by Saturday, according to manager Davey Johnson. Pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report this past Wednesday.

I was talking to a baseball reporter offline about visa things and the Dominican Republic the other day. I asked him why these guys just don’t file their paperwork earlier. The response was that early’s got nothing to do with it and that getting stuff like that done in the Dominican Republic is like dealing with Information Retrieval in “Brazil.” It’s a wonder that more guys don’t get held up, actually.

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.