Phillies have made a splash in free agency, but not where they were expected to
The Phillies have shocked baseball by signing first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year deal worth $60 million. They’ve been connected to the veteran for over a month, and the deal now becomes official.
Formerly with the Cleveland Indians Santana has played both catcher and first base, but has primarily moved to first. The move will lock emerging star Rhys Hoskins in as the team’s left fielder going forward.
Santana can also serve as an emergency catcher behind Jorge Alfaro and either Andrew Knapp or Cameron Rupp.
Over his last two seasons with the Indians Santana has struck out just 193 times while walking 187 times. His on-base percentage is incredibly impressive, but most importantly will be his leadership in a young clubhouse.
Signed the same day the franchise traded their longest-tenured player Freddy Galvis to San Diego, Santana brings World Series experience and leadership to Philadelphia. It’s a move that feels somewhat similar to Jim Thome coming in 2004, although Santana certainly has a slighter profile than the future Hall of Famer.
With reliever Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter signing during the winter meetings the Phillies have a great number of veterans on their roster. With a new wave of talent coming up the experience brought in by those three players is tremendous.
Now that the Phillies have their bullpen and offense built up expect them to focus on their starting rotation. Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish could be options in free agency and Michael Fulmer might be an option on the trade market.