Brewers release veteran right-hander Kelvim Escobar

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Kelvim Escobar was diagnosed five days ago with a nerve impingement just above his right (pitching) hand. In related news, his big comeback attempt with the Milwaukee Brewers has been squashed.

According to Brewers senior director of media relations Mike Vassallo, the 36-year-old right-hander was given his unconditional release this morning in Brewers camp, presumably because the nerve impingement hasn’t shown any sign of improvement.

Escobar made only one appearance in the Cactus League for the Brewers, yielding one earned run on two walks and a hit-by-pitch over just two-thirds of an inning. He signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee in mid-January after a good showing in the Venezuelan Winter League.

The 36-year-old has pitched in one major league game since the end of the 2007 season.

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.