Will the Phillies really dip back into the veteran bargain bin?
Already the Phillies have dipped into the bargain bin this offseason to fill their final roster spots. They’ve added (among others) Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Francisco Liriano, Drew Storen, and Logan Forsythe as spring training competition who cost little to nothing on a tryout basis.
A 15-year veteran who has pitched for five teams, Santana has a career 4.09 ERA and has won 149 games with two All-Star selections. It wasn’t too long ago that he wore an All-Star jersey, doing so just three seasons ago for the Twins when he led the league with five complete games and three shutouts.
However, Santana’s career hit a brick wall over the last two seasons. In just eight starts since 2018 Santana has an 8.53 ERA with 15 home runs and 15 walks in 38 innings for the Twins and White Sox.
Santana recently turned 37-years-old and is clearly at the end of his career, so what could the Phillies possibly want out of him?
At best, Santana starts in Triple-A Lehigh Valley and can make a spot start or two in the very worst scenarios where the Phillies have run through their depth due to injury. Right now the Phillies have nine pitchers who could start a game on their 40-man roster, not including top prospect Spencer Howard. They’d have to burn through a lot of arms to get to the point where Santana is needed.
If the Phillies were to sign Santana, his contract would likely have an out at some point in the season where if he’s not called up he can look for another opportunity. It would really be a prudent move for both sides to make this move. Santana can give himself one last shot to prove he’s capable of pitching, while the Phillies stash another veteran in the minor leagues just incase.