The Phillies will attempt to advance to their fourth consecutive NLCS on Friday, when former teammates Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter face off in Philadelphia. Until then, we've got some links from the NL East to keep you entertained…
- Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider says the Nationals could have room on their roster for Rick Ankiel next year, though it would probably be as a fourth outfielder. There's "virtually no chance" the Nationals re-sign Laynce Nix and Ankiel, according to Zuckerman. Jonny Gomes could be back, but the out-of-options Roger Bernadina isn't assured of a roster spot going forward.
- The Mets announced that Johan Santana will rest to prepare for the 2012 season instead of playing winter ball or pitching more in the instructional league. GM Sandy Alderson says he's optimistic that Santana will "maintain a Spring Training schedule with all other Mets pitchers next February and will be ready for the start of the 2012 season." The Mets owe the left-hander $24MM in 2012, $25.5MM in 2013 and at least a $5.5MM buyout in 2014.
- The Mets also announced that bench coach Ken Oberkfell, third base Coach Chip Hale, first base coach Mookie Wilson and bullpen coach Jon Debus won't be back in 2012. The A's signed Hale to be manager Bob Melvin's bench coach for the next two years.