Justin Turner exits Grapefruit League game with calf strain

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The Mets won’t have Justin Turner for their opener.

According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, the infielder was diagnosed with a left calf strain after making an early exit from Wednesday evening’s Grapefruit League game against the Astros.

Calf strains usually come with varying recovery timetables, but it’s a near-certainty that he will miss the first couple weeks of the 2013 regular season.

Turner, 28, batted .269/.319/.392 in 94 games last summer for the Mets. He is expected to serve as the primary backup this year to second baseman Daniel Murphy, who is on his way back from an intercostal strain. Turner will also serve as a backup at third base to David Wright, who has an intercostal injury of his own. The Mets are limping their way to Opening Day.

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.