Kansas City Royals Sign Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana
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The Kansas City Royals have signed first baseman Carlos Santana. The deal is for two years and will earn Santana $17 million. This is the third signing for Kansas City since late November after Michael A. Taylor and Mike Minor. The team announced the signing Tuesday afternoon.

Royals Sign Carlos Santana

Santana struggled in the shortened 2020 with the Cleveland Indians. He hit just .199/349/350 with 43 strikeouts in 255 plate appearances. He was one of the most disciplined hitters in the league as his 47 walks led the American League. Santana was behind only Bryce Harper among all players, but the 34-year-old had terrible luck. Santana’s BABIP fell to .212, which was far below his career figure of .266. His total rate of contact improved, but Santana just couldn’t hit the ball where defenders weren’t. That, along with the shortened year, was a huge part of how he accumulated only .6 Baseball-Reference WAR.

The Los Angles Dodgers originally signed Santana out of the Dominican Republic in 2004 but traded him to Cleveland in 2008 as part of a deal that included Casey Blake. Santana has been part of several trades but has played for the Indians for almost his entire career. He has over 5700 plate appearances with that organization, slashing .251/368/450 with 216 home runs. Those years, plus one year with the Philadelphia Phillies, gives Santana a career line of .248/366/466 with 240 home runs in 6402 plate appearances and 31.2 WAR.

Where Santana Fits with Kansas City

Santana probably takes over as the Royals’ primary first baseman going into 2021. Some of his underlying stats point at a very disciplined hitter who just needs a full season to recapture some of what made him so productive prior to 2021. Kansas City received less than 1 WAR from the position in 2020, so there is plw1enty of room for improvement. Santana also doesn’t cost significant money. The Royals could certainly seek more pieces as the season approaches as they rebuild a contending team.

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