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Mark Melancon to have surgery for a rare muscle disorder

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The other day Bruce Bochy hinted that Giants closer Mark Melancon might have to be shut down for elbow surgery. Yesterday the Mercury News reported that it was a bit more complicated than that: Melancon has been diagnosed with pronator syndrome, which results in a chronic compression of a muscle in his right forearm. It’s akin to carpal tunnel syndrome, in that it attacks the sheaths which cover the muscle, leading to chronic tightness.

Melancon can still pitch for now and wants to finish the season, but surgery is imminent, and Bochy says that Melancon is day-to-day. Meaning that, on any day, they could simply say “no more” and send him to surgery. Given where the Giants are now you’d think they’d want to get it over with as soon as possible, but it’s their team I guess.

Melancon is in the first year of a four-year, $62 million contract with San Francisco. He’s 1-2 on the year with a 4.13 ERA and 11 saves in 30 games. While his strikeout rate has stayed steady this season, he’s walking more batters and giving up a dramatically larger number of hits, resulting in a WHIP of 1.376, which is the worst he’s had in any season in which he’s pitched 20 games or more.

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.