With free agency on the horizon, veteran DH Carlos Santana has decided to change agents, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports recently reported (via Twitter). Santana, 30, will now be represented by Octagon.
The Indians could conceivably engage Santana’s new representatives about another extension, though that has never seemed particularly likely. A return to Cleveland could still come to pass, especially if the club hangs a qualifying offer on him, but it would rate as a surprise if the sides were to strike a new deal this spring.
Santana’s current deal, signed when he hadn’t even reached his second year of MLB service, wraps up this year. The club picked up a $12MM option for 2017, meaning that the contract ended up paying out $31.8MM over its six-year span, which covered a pair of pre-arbitration years, all three arb campaigns, and one would-be free agent season.
Things have changed quite a bit in the meantime for the switch-hitting Santana. He has been steadily productive offensively, compiling a lifetime .247/.365/.444 slash, but no longer spends any time as a catcher. While he has logged plenty of innings at first and ever some at third base, Santana spent 92 games as the Indians’ DH in 2016.
Landing big bucks has never been harder for defensively limited sluggers, as this last winter’s free agent market showed. But there’s some reason to believe that Santana will find broader demand than some otherwise similar players. He remains relatively youthful, offers the versatility of hitting from both sides of the plate, and still delivers the kind of impeccable plate discipline (99 strikeouts against 99 walks in 2016) that many organizations covet. Notably, Santana was able to maintain that outstanding zone control while hitting a career-best 34 home runs last year.
As an Indians fan, I would be thrilled if he resigned with the club!
Realistically I don’t see Santana in CLE next year. Tribe is most likely to move on and pick up similar production on a short term deal from the open market. His market and value would be much clearer had he worked out as a catcher.
He was terrible as a Catcher. So not really.
IMO he was serviceable as a catcher, but his offense made it worth it. That he was willing to play anywhere from 1B and 3B and LF at his point in his career tells me he’s a true team player. I’d like to see him stay around a few more years but just don’t see it happening.
Can’t see him signing with EE there. The tribe is gonna want to save money because of EE and they’re practically the same player.
I will truly feel there is synchronicity in the world if Carlos Santana ever chooses a black magic woman as his agent…
But there’s always a chance she’ll turn her back on him (baby) and might just break up his magic stick.
I’m not sure he’s quite as bad defensively as some of the guys who struggled this offseason, so he should be OK. Doubt the Tribe does a QO. Don’t think they think he’s worth the money, and he may take it since he can’t get another (so he’ll be guaranteed free & clear for 2019), and QO money will probably out distance his expected AAV for a longer contract.
Worst move for Dodgers in some time to get old Casey Blake for Santana. Amazing move on behalf of the Tribe! Anyone think he will get the same QO treatment of not being picked up till last minute next spring?
‘He probably won’t get one I don’t think Cleveland will risk that salary. Maybe if they are coming off a World Series and he has a big year, but most likely not otherwise.
As a fan, I would love to see Carlos return. My baseball sense, understanding Cleveland’s need to be selective, says there is absolutely no way he resigns. Unless spending is not an issue, you do not offer large sum multi-year deals to fill the positions of designated hitter or closer. Secondly, if the Indians had envisioned a deal with Santana, Edwin Encarnacion would not have been signed.
Despite his defensive limitations, he will land a contract he deserves based on his batting eye. He is truly one of most patient hitters in baseball as evidenced by his K/BB ratios.