3:58pm: Santana will earn a $1.75MM base salary if he makes it to the bigs and up to $1MM in incentives, Heyman tweets. There’s a $100K bonus if he starts the season in Triple-A.
1:33pm: The Red Sox have agreed to a minor league deal with free-agent infielder/outfielder Danny Santana, reports Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe. The Mato Sports Management client will head to Major League camp as a non-roster invitee. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman had previously suggested Boston was “in the mix” for Santana.
Santana, 30, has been hosting workouts for clubs over the past week or so and reportedly received enough interest that he canceled an open audition that would’ve taken place today. His 2020 season with the Rangers was limited to 15 games before an elbow injury required surgery, but it seems he’s sufficiently rehabbed and will join Boston’s Major League group once he clears intake protocols.
The switch-hitting Santana will add yet another versatile piece for a Red Sox organization that has already signed Enrique Hernandez to a two-year deal and Marwin Gonzalez to a one-year pact this winter. While he managed only a tepid .145/.238/.278 slash in 63 plate appearances due to the aforementioned elbow injury, his 2019 season with the Rangers resulted in an impressive .283/.324/.534 slash with a career-high 28 homers and 21 steals. The juiced ball in 2019 likely had something to do with that sudden power spike, however, as Santana has never shown that type of power in the past.
Santana debuted with the Twins in 2014 and finished seventh in American League Rookie of the Year voting before his bat tailed off for several seasons — some of which were marred by injury. He’s spent the bulk of his time in the big leagues in center field (1143 innings) and at shortstop (918 innings), but Santana has played all three outfield spots and all four infield spots as a Major Leaguer. Overall, he’s a .260/.299/.418 hitter at the game’s top level.