With Carlos Santana signing with the Kansas City Royals, the Cleveland Indians will need to find a replacement, but who are their in-house options?
The Winter Meetings began with a blow to the Cleveland Indians. While it was expected that Carlos Santana would sign somewhere other than Cleveland this offseason, him striking a deal within the AL Central with the Kansas City Royals leaves a more bitter taste.
Now, the front office of the Cleveland Indians will be tasked with once again finding a replacement for Santana. The last time he left the Tribe brought in Yonder Alonso, but given the drive to save money there is a high expectation that the new first baseman in Cleveland will be an in-house replacement.
Luckily, the Indians will have multiple options to test out at first, whether it be a rising prospect, a player that could change positions or someone looking for another chance. It will be difficult to replace Santana statistically, especially in the walk department, but Cleveland can experiment with the players at hand to see who fills the shoes the best.
At the moment, there are four players that could easily slide into the role at first base. Three of the four have major league experience while the other has been asked to learn the position in hopes of making his debut in the big leagues.
Santana was known for drawing walks, doing so 47 times during the 2020 season which led the American League. However, his slash line dipped this past season down to .199/.349/.350. Both his average and slugging percentage were career-lows, making it seem like the Indians let him go at just the right time.
While it might have been the right time, the Tribe still need to have someone lined up to take over the position. With that being said, who steps up as the first baseman for the Cleveland Indians during the 2021 season and moving forward for the club?