Braves sign Greg Smith and Eli Whiteside to minor league deals

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Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports that the Braves have signed pitcher Greg Smith, catcher Eli Whiteside, as well as pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon to minor league deals.

Smith, 30, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2010 with the Rockies. He spent the last two seasons in the Phillies’ minor league system, including all of 2014 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He finished with a 4.40 ERA with a 92/37 K/BB ratio in 157 1/3 innings.

Whiteside, 35, accrued 26 plate appearances at the big league level with the Cubs this past season, batting .120/.115/.160. At Triple-A Iowa, where he spent most of his season, he hit .214/.291/.364 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 230 plate appearances.

Marimon, 26, has yet to appear in the major leagues after having spent eight seasons in the minors. In 2014 at three different levels in the Royals’ system, he posted an aggregate 3.19 ERA with an 84/35 K/BB ratio in 115 2/3 innings.

Report: Phillies ‘shopping the hell’ out of Carlos Santana

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In today’s column for The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are “shopping the hell” out of first baseman Carlos Santana, according to a rival executive. Doing so would allow the Phillies to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base and open up a spot in the outfield for free agent Bryce Harper, with whom the Phillies have been commonly connected.

Santana, 32, is coming off of a mediocre season in which he hit .229/.352/.414 with 24 home runs and 86 RBI in 679 plate appearances. His 1.7 WAR, per Baseball Reference, was his lowest output since 2015. He has $35 million remaining on his contract. The Phillies would presumably eat a significant portion of that $35 million in order to make a trade work.

If the Phillies can’t move Santana but still end up signing Harper, Santana could share third base with Maikel Franco and first with Hoskins. Right now, the Phillies have a glut of outfielders with Hoskins, Odúbel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Hoskins rated among the worst outfielders defensively in 2018, so moving him back to first base is likely one of the Phillies’ bigger priorities.