Cleveland Indians first basemen Carlos Santana is near a deal to join the division rival Kansas City Royals.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman is reporting that Santana will be signing a two-year $17 million deal with the division rival Kansas City Royals.
The Indians declined Santana’s option for the 2021 season after he struggled in 2020 as he slashed just .199/.349/.350 with eight home runs and 30 RBI’s playing all 60 regular season games during the COVID-19 shortened season.
Despite his 2020 struggles, Santana is just a year removed from a 2019 season that saw him earn the start at first base for the AL All-Star team after hitting .281 with 34 home runs and 93 RBI’s.
Santana played for the Indians for seven seasons (2010-17) before signing a three-year $60 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies after the 2017 season.
He would spend just one-year in Philadelphia before the Phillies traded him to the Seattle Mariners, who would quickly ship him back to Cleveland in a three-team trade that also included the Tampa Bay Rays.
In Kansas City, Santana will take over as the Royals starting first basemen allowing Hunter Dozier to play third base full time.
The Royals have not made the playoffs since they won the 2015 World Series over the New York Mets as they have since entered a rebuilding process after losing former All-Star’s Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and nearly every key contributor of their championship squad in recent years.
Despite the two-year deal, there’s a chance Santana could be used as trade bait by the Royals come July if the team is not in contention and is seeking to make moves at the trade deadline.
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Regardless of how long he is in Kansas City, Santana will be counted on as a leader for a young and up and coming Royals squad coming off a 26-34 2020 season.