The Braves and infielder/outfielder Danny Santana have agreed to a minor league contract, reports SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (on Twitter). Atlanta non-tendered Santana last month rather than pay him a projected arbitration salary of $1.1MM (per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz). Santana is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Now 27 years of age, Santana was a Rookie of the Year candidate with the 2014 Twins when he debuted with a sensational .319/.353/.472 slash in 430 trips to the plate. That outstanding production, though, was buoyed by a sky-high .405 BABIP, and Santana’s output cratered in subsequent seasons when he (unsurprisingly) was not able to maintain that rate. Over the past three years, Santana has logged an unsightly .221/.255/.320 batting line in 720 plate appearances between Minnesota and Atlanta.
Though he hasn’t delivered much at the plate, Santana does bring plenty of speed and defensive versatility to the table. Santana’s 28.8 ft/sec average sprint speed (via Statcast) tied him with Jarrod Dyson and four others for 30th in the Majors, and he’s played everywhere on the diamond other than first base, catcher and pitcher in the Majors. While he doesn’t excel at any one position, that versatility pairs with his speed and switch-hitting abilities to make him at least an interesting depth option for the Braves to keep on hand in Triple-A Gwinnett.