Tigers infielder Ramon Santiago “could be a possibility” for Phillies as Chase Utley insurance

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Danny Knobler, who covered the Tigers in Detroit prior to working at CBSSports.com, reports that Ramon Santiago “could be a possibility” for the Phillies as they look to add depth following the latest news on Chase Utley’s knee injury.

Santiago has split time at shortstop for the Tigers during the past few seasons, but is slated to be a backup this year after the team re-signed midseason pickup Jhonny Peralta to a two-year, $11.25 million deal.

Santiago has logged more than 3,000 career innings at shortstop and another 950 innings at second base, but aside from a flukey .870 OPS in a part-time role a few years ago the 31-year-old switch-hitter hasn’t offered much production offensively. Of course, even his measly .681 OPS during the past two seasons is better than the .665 OPS posted by Wilson Valdez, who’s the most likely in-house option to replace Utley.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.