Cashman: A-Rod will not be ready to play until some time in August at the earliest

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Regardless of Alex Rodriguez’s desired schedule and no matter how fine he thinks he is, Brian Cashman has different ideas.

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News just tweeted that Cashman said that A-Rod was seen by a team-approved doctor in Tampa who went over his MRI and concurred that A-Rod has a grade 1 quad strain. The team had a conference call with A-Rod and his camp in which they discussed a rehab protocol. That protocol: A-Rod will continue his rehab work through July 31. If there are no setbacks, he will play in a rehab game or a simulated game on August 1.

Cashman added that while A-Rod might want to be back this Friday, such a schedule “wouldn’t be responsible.”

They know his health better than any of us do. But why do I still feel like Cashman is stalling for time. Or stalling for Bud Selig? And that this little A-Rod drama of the past couple of days has been designed to blow that plan up?

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.