The final first baseman candidate Dave Dombrowski should make a target at the upcoming trade deadline is Carlos Santana. Santana is widely known as a longtime Cleveland Guardian but he is an old friend of the Phillies organization. Remember when Santana signed a decent-sized contract and was a part of former general manager Matt Klentak’s rebuilding plan? The switch-hitting first baseman is now a member of the in-state adversary, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In his age-37 season, he is posting mediocre numbers overall. Santana has played in 87 games, hits for a .232 batting average, a .317 on-base percentage, a .386 slugging percentage, 74 hits, 40 runs scored, 22 doubles, nine home runs and 45 RBI in 359 plate appearances. Santana has been a nice example of a stable, run-producing first baseman in the Buccos’ lineup full of young talent. His 45 RBI is good enough for 14th-best in baseball among qualifying first basemen. On top of that, his 22 doubles are good enough for a three-way tie for fifth in the league in doubles.
Similar to Cron, Santana has been producing in those key spots with teammates on base. Let’s compare Santana’s numbers with nobody on base, runners on, and the all-important runners in scoring position. With no one on base, Santana has not been good enough as he is slashing .206/.286/.376, 35 hits, 11 doubles, six homers, six RBI, 19 walks in 170 at-bats. With a runner on, he is slashing .264/.355/.403, 38 hits, 24 runs scored, 11 doubles, three homers, 39 RBI, and 22 walks in 144 at-bats. Santana hits his best when there’s a scoring opportunity. He is slashing .278/.376/.389, 25 hits, 29 runs scored, seven doubles, one homer, 33 RBI, and 16 walks.
The Philadelphia Phillies are certainly making calls and doing their best to sniff out deals that make them better for the final couple of months of the season. Acquiring one of these first basemen should provide some type of certainty to the usual weak link point of the lineup. Even if it’s not one of these three players suggested, the team needs to address the first base position and acquire a player that can thrive in this lineup.