Carlos Santana made his return to the Cleveland Indians and proceeded to receive an award for his dominance on offense in 2019.
The veteran spent one year in Philadelphia, only to be traded home in 2019 and make everything right with the world once again.
Why bring this up now on a snowy Friday? Because of award season, that’s why.
Santana has taken home his first Silver Slugger Award in a year that also saw him get his first All-Star Game appearance. He has aged like a fine wine.
Santana posted career highs in batting average (.281), on-base percentage (.397), RBI (93), hits (161), and WAR (4.5) while playing in 158 games in 2019. He was the one consistent player on offense for the whole year and the team may have folded during the first few months if not for his presence.
The switch-hitter has always been a reliable member of the offense and while I thought it may be bias, it is surprising he only made his first All-Star Game this past year. If he was putting up similar numbers in a bigger market he would likely be a more notable player.
Though I don’t want this to happen, Santana is another option to be traded because of his salary. He is owed $17.5 million in 2020 and has a $17.5 million club option in 2021. At this point I hope the front office just accepts that having Santana on the roster is beneficial both on the field and in the clubhouse. If the team cuts too much salary it will turn into an operation like the one being run in Tampa Bay where the budget is the most important issue of the year.
Anyway, Santana is the latest Indians player to win an award this offseason. Another positive to talk about amid the doom and gloom of trade season.