Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez could sign next week

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Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was declared a free agent by MLB earlier this week after he received clearance by the United States government. And the bidding could wrap up fairly quickly.

Gonzalez’s agent, Jaime Torres, told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he expects his client to have an agreement with an MLB team by next week.

“I do not think it will happen this weekend,” Torres told ESPNdeportes.com. “But, fortunately, I hope to have an agreement for next week. While the more interested clubs are making their last internal consultations, we are working on the visa process that [Gonzalez] will need to come to the United States.”

Gonzalez defected from Cuba earlier this year and recently worked out for more than 60 scouts in Mexico while he was waiting to receive clearance. Rojas was told by a source close to Gonzalez that the Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Phillies, Blue Jays, Twins, and Marlins are among the teams with interest. The 26-year-old will not be subject to the international spending cap, so look for him to land a big-money contract.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com wrote last month that Gonzalez stands at 6-foot-3 and throws “a fastball in the mid-90s, a changeup, fork and a curveball.” Torres believes he could help at the major league level during the second half.

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.