Rockies sign Roy Oswalt to minor league contract

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As first teased by Roy Oswalt on his Twitter account, the Rockies just announced that they have signed the veteran right-hander to a minor league contract.

Oswalt is expected to report to extended spring training and will presumably join a minor league affiliate from there. The 35-year-old right-hander wasn’t in camp with a major league team this spring, so it might take him around a month or so in order to build his workload.

It’s worthwhile pickup for the Rockies, who are off to a surprising 17-11 start and have struggled to attract high-profile pitchers over the years. There wasn’t much interest in Oswalt this winter after he had a disappointing 5.80 ERA in nine starts and eight relief appearances with the Rangers last season, but he still managed a 59/11 K/BB ratio in 59 innings. It’s worth a shot to see if he still has something left.

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.