Cleveland has exercised their option on first baseman, designated hitter, and apparently now a left fielder? Carlos Santana, according to Jon Heyman.
carlos santana @TheRealSlamtana $12M option will be picked up by indians— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 3, 2016
It’s a pretty easy decision for Chris Antonetti’s front office coming off of their amazing postseason run, in which Santana slugged three homers. Santana was productive in the regular season as well, hitting .259/.366/.498, with 34 homers. He set career highs in slugging percentage, homers, RBI, and OPS while starting 92 games at DH and 62 at first base. In Games 3 and 5 of the World Series he showed off another skill, a reasonably competent impersonation of a left fielder.
Santana is the second longest-tenured Cleveland player behind Michael Brantley. He has been with the organization since 2008, when he was acquired at the trade deadline for Casey Blake. He debuted in 2010, and has 151 homers and a 122 OPS+ in six-and-a-half seasons. With Mike Napoli becoming a free agent, there’s a good chance that Santana is the full time first baseman next year.
While extremely limited defensively, he’s a productive hitter who figures to be worth the $12 million he’ll earn next year as a 31 year old. With Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar back from injuries, the Indians will have relatively few holes in 2017 and figure to be in the hunt to repeat as both AL Central and American League champions.