Headlines, Indians

Carlos Santana signs with Philadelphia Phillies

Word leaked on Friday afternoon that the Indians would be losing one of their longest tenured players. Jon Heyman, of FanRag Sports, reported that 31-year old Carlos Santana has agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Heyman also stated that the deal would be three years long at an average annual value of 20 million per year.

Santana was acquired in a lopsided 2008 trade that sent Casey Blake to the Los Angeles Dodgers. His major league debut came two summers later and was a mainstay in Tribe lineups over those next eight seasons. A pillar of consistency, Carlos Santana is the only Indian to have registered at least 500 plate appearances in each season since 2011. Every single year, he was an above average hitter (wRC+ and OPS+ above 100), and Santana’s career numbers indicate he was 20% better than the average MLB hitter (fringe All-Star level).

Since 2011, Santana has registered at least 200 total bases with a .350 on base percentage, and 18 home runs each of those seven seasons. No other player in MLB can make the same claim. None. The players with six such seasons in this span are Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, and Miguel Cabrera.

With Santana’s departure, the Indians must turn their attention to replacement options. As he is the first free agent position player off the market, there is still a bevy of external options for Tribe brass to consider. Though, Carlos Santana’s 3.0 WAR consistency is tough to replicate, Logan Morrison and Lucas Dude each warrant long looks.

The loss of Santana is yet another departure for the defending American League Central champions. Relievers Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith have signed with the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros. Reliever Shawn Armstrong has been traded to the Seattle Mariners. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway became the manager of the New York Mets. Resigning Jay Bruce appears to be unlikely on the surface but rumors surrounding him have been quiet. Charting Indians losses and adds is, at this point, an ugly exercise, but there are still plenty of intriguing position player free agents on the market.

If there is any silver lining, it is that the Indians will receive a compensatory draft pick by virtue of Santana’s contract, as a result of him turning down their qualifying offer and inking a deal in excess of $50 million.

Some past WFNY Carlos Santana articles