MLB trade rumors: Phillies shopping Carlos Santana in order to move Rhys Hoskins to first

The Philadelphia Phillies, thanks to their needs, contending aspirations and major payroll flexibility, are widely expected to among the biggest spenders this offseason -- to the extent that making serious runs at Bryce Harper and Manny Machado is possible. 

Before any of that happens, though, the Phillies might need to clear the decks just a bit. On that front, here's a note from Ken Rosenthal's must-read look at the current free agency buzz in The Athletic:

A rival executive says the Philadelphia Phillies are "shopping the hell" out of first baseman Carlos Santana, with the idea of returning left fielder Rhys Hoskins to first.

Hoskins is a major defensive liability in the outfield, but he's got the bat to carry any position. He's also of long-term value, so a switch to first base makes sense. That, however, is the current province of Santana. 

Santana is coming off a 2018 season in which he batted .229/.352/.414 (105 OPS+) with 24 home runs in 161 games. The continued a pattern of decline, and the advanced metrics haven't thought much of his defense for some time. Perhaps there's some hope for a bounce-back on the basis of his career low batting average in balls in play, but on the other hand Santana turns 33 not long after opening day. 

More to the point, he's owed more than $40 million over the next two seasons. Given his dubious overall value at the moment, it's likely the Phillies would need to eat some salary in order to move him. If they're willing to use some of their budget flexibility in order to make that happen, then they should be able to find a new home for Santana. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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