Phillies: Carlos Santana signing reminiscent of Jim Thome

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 18: Infielder Jim Thome
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 18: Infielder Jim Thome /

Is history repeating itself for the Phillies with their latest free agent signing?

Focus back to the 2002 Phillies; they’re a young team playing below .500 baseball with highly-prospects on the way. Then that offseason they sign a first baseman from the Cleveland Indians who brings leadership, a big bat, and playoff experience to help not only grow the new core but influence the next crop of free agents.

No, Carlos Santana isn’t a future Hall of Famer like Jim Thome who’ll hit 600 home runs, but their situations are nearly identical.

By signing Santana to a three-year deal worth $60 million the Phillies are bringing in a free agent who will have a long-term stake in the franchise. With a World Series ring on his finger, Santana can help the next generation of Phillies players grow not only as players, but as men.

Young players such as J.P. Crawford, Scott Kingery, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola, Odubel Herrera, and Jorge Alfaro almost mirror the previous core of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, and Carlos Ruiz from the glorious 2008 run. Santana will be a great influence on this generation of players, similar to Thome, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, and Jamie Moyer.

No, the Phillies aren’t going to win a championship this year, and the playoffs will likely be out of reach. But Phillies baseball is on the right track with this latest signing, and in a couple of years, we may see this perfect maturation of talent lead to a championship yet again.