Pirates bump top prospect Jameson Taillon up to Triple-A

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Jameson Taillon, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft after Bryce Harper, is on his way up to Triple-A Indianapolis after getting promoted by the Pirates on Friday, the Altoona Mirror’s Cory Giger reports.

Taillon was 4-7 with a 3.67 ERA and a 106/36 K/BB ratio in 110 1/3 innings for Double-A Altoona. He still hasn’t truly dominated at any level — he’s 15-18 with a 3.70 ERA since his pro debut in 2011 — but given his excellent stuff and history of fine walk rates, he’s regarded as one of the game’s top five pitching prospects. It’s doubtful that he’ll see the majors this year, but he could be broken in next season much like Gerrit Cole was this year.

Once that happens, the Pirates could have all of the following top-11 overall draft picks on their roster:

Neil Walker – 2004 11th overall
Andrew McCutchen – 2005 11th overall
Pedro Alvarez – 2008 2nd overall
Tony Sanchez – 2009 4th overall
Jameson Taillon – 2010 2nd overall
Gerrit Cole – 2011 1st overall

Assuming all goes well with Taillon and Cole, then it’s a good guess that they won’t be picking in the top 11 again anytime soon.

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.