Roy Oswalt is a start away from joining the Rockies rotation

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Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that, if the Rockies stick to their plan for Roy Oswalt, he’ll make one more minor league start this Friday and then he’ll be back in the bigs. Oswalt has a 2.88 ERA and 18/6 K/BB ratio in 25 innings in four Texas League starts and his velocity is reported to be a healthy low 90s with occasional flashes in the mid-90s.

Will he be the difference between the Rockies contending and not contending? For a while I suppose, as the Rockies are only two games out.  But I don’t feel like Colorado has staying power regardless, which means that at the very least Oswalt could be interesting trade bait if he pitches well and things don’t continue to chug along for the team.

Oswalt appeared in only 17 games and was pretty ineffective for the Rangers in 2012. But if the rest has done him good and those velocity readings are accurate, he will be worth watching.

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.