For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, including the last five in a row, the durable Carlos Santana played in at least 152 games. As usual, Santana's calling card was patience, as he walked 13.2 percent of the time, which was surprisingly a career-low mark. However, he made up for it with an uptick in contact rate. Coming off a season where Santana slugged 34 homers, 23 is a bit disappointing, but that mark was in line with totals previous to his outlying 2016 campaign. Santana swatted 37 doubles, his second-highest total ever, so he was just a few timely breezes away from a few extra homers. Santana's skill set allows him to lead off, or bat in the heart of the order, but he'll likely serve in the latter capacity after signing a three-year deal with the Phillies in December. He's better in OBP and points leagues scoring walks, and while Santana's upside is limited, his floor and durability allow you to take some chances elsewhere on your roster.
Santana is hitting .200/.313/.240 with zero home runs and a 5:5 K:BB in 25 spring at-bats. There's no cause for concern, as the sample size is tiny and Santana is showing off his famed approach even in the absence of notable production. Santana has been primarily hitting second for the Phillies during Grapefruit League play. If that trend continues into the regular season it would give him a pretty decent shot to finish near the top of his position in runs scored, to go with quality power-hitting statistics. He appears to be a pretty good value at his current NFBC ADP of 169.3 (since Feb. 1).
Santana agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies on Friday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. After spending his first 11 seasons as a professional within the Indians' organization, Santana will move on to a new home following this signing. It was clear that Cleveland wasn't going to be able to offer Santana this kind of contract, and after the first baseman declined the club's $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, it became apparent that he would be playing for a new team come 2018. On the surface, this move is a tad puzzling, considering the Phillies already seemed to have their first baseman of the future in the majors in Rhys Hoskins. However, it would appear as though the top prospect will likely move to the outfield in order to make room for Santana, as he saw time in left field during 30 of his 50 appearances in the big leagues in 2017. As for Santana, the switch-hitting 31-year-old is coming off another quality season, slashing .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 79 RBI in 154 games last year.
Santana has officially declined the Indians' qualifying offer prior to Thursday's deadline, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Santana will now head to free agency, with Cleveland receiving draft-pick compensation should he decide to sign elsewhere. The 31-year-old is coming off another steady year of production, hitting .259/.363/.455 with 23 homers, 79 RBI and 90 runs scored in 154 games for the Indians.
The Indians gave Santana a qualifying offer prior to Monday's deadline, the Los Angeles Times reports. This year's qualifying offer is worth $17.4 million, and it's not completely unreasonable to think that Santana may be tempted to sign it, as he may be unable to secure a higher average annual value from a multi-year deal via free agency if he turns it down. While he failed to reach his career-high 34 homers from 2016, Santana delivered another steady line at the plate, hitting .259/.363/.455 with 23 long balls, 79 RBI and 90 runs scored as an everyday contributor in a strong Cleveland lineup.
Santana (shoulder) is starting at first base and batting sixth Tuesday against the Twins. Santana sat out Sunday with a shoulder injury, but the Indians never thought the issue was anything overly serious, and he's back in the lineup after the team's off day Monday. He'll face Bartolo Colon in his return to action.