Padres promote top prospect Austin Hedges to Double-A

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Corey Brock of MLB.com shares this bit of prospect news:

Austin Hedges, considered the third-best catching prospect in the Minor Leagues according to MLB.com, is on his way to Double-A San Antonio.

The Padres will promote Hedges, 20, from Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore to the Texas League. The move was based not just on merit but because Missions catcher Robert Kral is currently injured.

Hedges played in the 2013 Futures Game earlier this month at New York’s Citi Field. He was batting just .263/.338/.404 with three home runs and 26 RBI over 65 games with High-A Lake Elsinore, but the 20-year-old is an excellent defender and should continue to rise quickly through the Padres’ system even if the bat takes a little while to catch up.

Hedges was a second-round pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of a California high school.

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.