The Phillies have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with Carlos Santana, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman. The deal also includes a $17.5 million club option for a fourth year, per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.
Santana is the first major position player to sign as a free agent this winter on a market that has been slow to develop. His deal is now the largest deal signed by a free agent this year, beating out Tyler Chatwood’s $38 million contract with the Cubs.
Santana drew interest from a bunch of clubs this winter, with the Red Sox, Rockies, Padres, Rangers, Mariners, Angels and Mets all being linked to him. He also drew significant interest from the Indians a reunion, though reports indicate that Cleveland’s last extension offer to their eight-year veteran was just $36 million over three years.
Santana is the first major free-agent signing for the Phillies in a while, representing an important next step in the team’s rebuilding process. He’ll become the second significant financial commitment on the books for the Phils along with Odubel Herrera, who is controlled through the 2023 season.
Santana will man first base next season in Philadelphia, meaning rookie star Rhys Hoskins will shift into the outfield. Santana will provide a big bat in the middle of the team’s lineup, slotting in alongside youngsters like Hoskins, Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro and Maikel Franco.
Santana, who has spent his entire career with the Indians, hit .259/.363/.455 with 23 homers and 79 RBI for Cleveland last year. He was viewed as a cheaper alternative on the free-agent market to former Royal Eric Hosmer, who remains unsigned.
By losing Santana, the Indians will receive a compensatory pick directly after the first round of next spring’s draft. The Phillies will forfeit their second-round pick.