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Royals sign Carlos Santana to two-year deal, per report

Santana stays in the AL Central as the virtual winter meetings heat up

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The stove is heating up. With baseball’s winter meetings being held in a virtual fashion this year, the Kansas City Royals made a splash on Tuesday afternoon by signing slugger Carlos Santana to a two-year, $17 million contract.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported the news.

Santana spent his first eight major league seasons in the American League Central with the Cleveland Indians before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies ahead of the 2018 he season. After one year in Pennsylvania, Santana re-signed with the Indians and spent two more years in Cleveland.

In the shortened 2020 season, Santana appeared in all 60 games, as well as the team’s two postseason games against the New York Yankees. The first baseman slashed just .199/.349/.350, which is certainly subpar. However, his career slash line of .246/.366/.446 is reason to believe that he can get back on track with the Royals. Santana also posted a career year in 2019, the last full season of baseball, which provides even more reason to be optimistic.

Santana posted 4.4 fWAR during the 2019 season, winning a Silver Slugger award and finishing 15th in MVP voting while also earning an All-Star nomination. He has a career 21.3 fWAR.

Santana fills a glaring hole at first base for the Royals. The position had previously been filled by Hunter Dozier, who will now presumably enter into a full-time role at third base.

The signing is another in a string of intriguing moves for the Kansas City Royals, who impressed with a 26-34 record in 2020. Santana joins Mike Minor and Michael Taylor on the team’s list of big-league signings so far.