Chris Carpenter experiences setback in his rehab

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Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter has chosen to stop his rehab at least for a little while. Per Derrick Goold on Twitter, Carpenter called it, “[taking] a step back” after experiencing creeping numbness in his hand.  He will be examined by doctors tonight while the Cardinals open up a three-game series at home against the Phillies.

Carpenter isn’t discouraged, which is a good sign.

Carpenter hasn’t pitched since Game Six of the National League Championship Series last year, when he allowed five runs in four innings to the Giants. His rehab has, for the most part, gone better than expected up until now, and there was some thought he would rejoin the Cardinals before the end of the season, either as a reliever or as a starter depending on how he felt and how much of his durability he recovered.

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.