Orioles option top prospect Dylan Bundy to Double-A Bowie

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It’s official: Dylan Bundy will open the 2013 season in the minors.

The Orioles announced this morning that Bundy was optioned to Double-A Bowie. Widely regarded as the best pitching prospect in the game, the 20-year-old right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) in eight innings this spring to go along with five strikeouts and six walks.

Bundy made two appearances with the Orioles last September, but today’s cut doesn’t come as a big surprise. However, if all goes well, he could be up to the majors for good later this year.

Bundy, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, breezed through his first year of pro ball last year by posting a 2.08 ERA and 119/28 K/BB ratio over 103 2/3 innings between Class A Delmarva, High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Baseball America ranked him as the No. 2 prospect on their Top 100 list last month behind the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar.

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.