Pitching coach candidates keep rejecting the Phillies

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After choosing not to renew longtime Charlie Manuel right-hand man Rich Dubee’s contract the Phillies turned their attention to finding a new pitching coach and … well, it’s been a struggle.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have talked to eight known candidates for the job and at least three of them (Pete Vuckovich, Roger McDowell, Jim Benedict) told them no thanks.

Or as general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. put it:

We’ve made a couple of offers and they’ve decided to go different places. We’ve made some progress, but we haven’t made any decisions. We’re still in the process. We’ve identified a few guys, but we’re still working through it. We still have candidates. And we’re still looking through some other possibilities.

Hey, assuming that Amaro knows how to use Twitter there’s always Leo Mazzone!

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.