One former Philadelphia Phillie is out in Kansas City, but another is coming in.
Just days after the Royals non-tendered Maikel Franco, Jon Heyman of RADIO.COM Sports says that Kansas City has agreed to a two-year deal with former Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana. Joel Sherman of The New York Post says that the deal’s total value is $17.5 million, with $1 million in incentives.
Santana actually just completed the three-year/$60 million free-agent deal that he signed with the Phillies prior to the 2018 season. Of course, only one of those three seasons was actually spent with the Phillies, with Santana slashing .229/.352/.414 with 24 home runs, 86 RBIs, 110 walks and a .766 OPS for the 2018 season. His .231 batting average on balls in play during his lone season in Philadelphia suggested he hit into bad luck and would bounce back in the following season, which is exactly what happened.
The Phillies ultimately weren’t the beneficiaries of said revival, as they traded Santana and J.P. Crawford to the Seattle Mariners in a December of 2018 move that brought back Jean Segura, Juan Nicasio and James Pazos. The deal allowed Rhys Hoskins, who had struggled mightily in left field, to move back to his natural position of first base.
Before the 2019 season, the Mariners would flip Santana back the Cleveland Indians, the team he had spent his first eight seasons with. As the advanced metrics suggested, Santana had much better luck at the plate in 2019, slashing .281/.397/.515 with 34 home runs, 93 RBIs, 108 walks and a .911 OPS. Santana made his first All-Star team in 2019, and won the Silver Slugger Award for American League first basemen.
While Santana’s legacy in Philadelphia may ultimately be the story of him smashing a television in the clubhouse or his strange beef with Jake Arrieta, he’s had a pretty impressive career. Across 11 seasons, Santana has slashed .240/.366/.466 with 240 home runs. Over the last 10 seasons, Santana’s 954 walks are second in the sport only to Joey Votto.
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