December 15, 2017
The first move the Phillies made on Friday – trading Freddy Galvis to the Padres for a pitching prospect – not only made sense, but was something many saw coming due to the arrival of J.P. Crawford in the big leagues.
The second one, on the other hand, was a bit more surprising.
According to multiple reports, the Phillies have signed former Indians infielder Carlos Santana to a three-year deal worth $60 million. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was the first to report the deal, which was later confirmed by Ken Rosenthal.
Sources: phillies agree to deal with Carlos Santana— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 15, 2017
Santana’s deal is $60M for 3 years with philly— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 15, 2017
Santana becomes the first big position player to go off the board. $20M annual salary is well above projections. Bodes well for Hosmer— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 15, 2017
In his eight-year MLB career, has been extremely durable, playing in over 150 games nearly every season. Furthermore, he brings switch-hitting power to a lineup that could definitely use some.
The move is surprising for a few reasons.
First, Santana is 31-years old and is signed for just three years, perhaps a signal that the Phillies rebuilding plan has been somewhat accelerated after previously saying they didn't plan on any big free agent signings until next offseason when the crop of available players is expected to be better.
Then there's the question of where Santana will play. Originally a catcher, Santana hasn't done that in a few years, with most of his appearances coming at first base or as the designated hitter. Unfortunately, the Phillies have young slugger Rhys Hoskins at first, and they could move him to the outfield to make room for Santana.
Another option could be having Santana replace Maikel Franco at third, where he played 26 games in 2014. However, it seemed earlier this offseason that the team hoped to give Franco another year at third base.
Of course, there's a much simpler solution when you have too many players at one position...
Carlos Santana has signed a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies, which means a young position player is on the move somewhere — perhaps in a larger trade for a pitcher.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) December 15, 2017
We'll have to wait and see. Stay tuned.
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