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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Pittsburgh Pirates, 1B Carlos Santana agree on 1-year, $6.7M deal

First baseman Carlos Santana and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement on a one-year, $6.7 million contract, pending the results of a physical, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN.

Santana, 36, finished with a league-average OPS last year, hitting .202/.316/.376 between stints with the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. But his expected numbers, based on how hard he hit the ball (an 81st-percentile exit velocity) and his elite walk rate (97th percentile), projected far better results, something that drove his market.

Further, nobody was shifted a higher percentage last year than Santana, who saw altered defense in 356 of his 362 left-handed batting appearances. With the ban of the shift coming in 2023, the switch-hitting Santana could see a significant benefit.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2022 at 10:28 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: carlos santana, pirates

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   1. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 26, 2022 at 11:32 AM (#6106834)
I'm saddened to see Santana, a good hitter for many years, going where baseball careers go to die. The Reaper comes for us all.
   2. sanny manguillen Posted: November 26, 2022 at 01:31 PM (#6106840)
"Further, nobody was shifted a higher percentage last year than Santana,"

I'm going to guess that there will be residual effects to the era of shifting, so that fielders will move farther and more often on their own sides of the bag than we used to see.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: November 26, 2022 at 04:03 PM (#6106871)
He may have been shifted on 356 times but he hit only 84 GB as a LHB in 2022. He did indeed do abysmally with just 11 hits while we might expect an average batter to have about twice as many. That would raise his BA to 227, add about 50 points to his OPS and probably about 7 points to his OPS+ which helps him look more like an average 1B. Of course he's turning 37 so we have to expect some decline. Of course without the shift, he might hit more GB, further raising the BA but probably reducing the already mediocre 174 ISO (16 of his 19 HR were from the left side).

Signing a 37-yo 1-WAR player hoping he will bounce back to 1.5 WAR seems a very Pirates thing to do.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 26, 2022 at 04:36 PM (#6106874)
Signing a 37-yo 1-WAR player hoping he will bounce back to 1.5 WAR seems a very Pirates thing to do.

Especially when they have Ji Man Choi to do essentially the same thing while being younger and cheaper.
   5. Zach Posted: November 26, 2022 at 08:48 PM (#6106898)
Is this one of those crypto things? 6.7M PyratKoinZ?

The man was done last year. Painfully so.
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 27, 2022 at 12:56 AM (#6106931)
Signing a 37-yo 1-WAR player hoping he will bounce back to 1.5 WAR seems a very Pirates thing to do.


I was thinking the opposite. I can't remember the last time the Pirates gave any free agents a $5m contract. And with a little more research, it looks like my instinct was right:

As noted, Santana is Pittsburgh's largest free agent signing in almost six years. The last time they gave a free agent more than Santana's $6.7 million was December 2016, when they inked reliever Daniel Hudson to a two-year contract worth $11 million and righty Iván Nova to a three-year deal worth $26 million in the span of a week.

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/pirates-sign-carlos-santana-to-one-year-deal-shoring-up-first-base-options-per-report/
   7. sanny manguillen Posted: November 27, 2022 at 07:54 AM (#6106941)
The Pirates gave $5 million to Roberto Perez and $4 million to Yoshi Tsutsugo just last year. They haven't been in this part of the free agent market for a while because they've been in rebuild mode for almost five years, since Cole and McCutchen were dealt.
   8. The Duke Posted: November 27, 2022 at 09:50 AM (#6106947)
The Pirates hardly ever spend money but their choices for who to spend money on are bizarre. I can't see how this possibly adds vakue for money to their team. They can't find 1 WAR at 1B for less than $7 million? Flip him at mid-season ? Still doesn't seem very likely or useful.

Quintana was a much better bet last year - a guy with a real track record of success
   9. DCA Posted: November 27, 2022 at 09:57 AM (#6106949)
The funny thing is, the Pirates did very well in the McCutchen/Cole trades, and still sucked.

McCutchen had already fallen off before he was traded, and they got Bryan Reynolds as part of the return. Cole broke out after being traded, but part of the return was Joe Musgrove, who has been almost as good the last 3 years. Musgrove did most of that good for the Padres, but the Pirates got three solid years and then an all-star closer in Bednar.
   10. sanny manguillen Posted: November 27, 2022 at 11:48 AM (#6106961)
I can't see how this possibly adds vakue for money to their team. They can't find 1 WAR at 1B for less than $7 million? Flip him at mid-season ? Still doesn't seem very likely or useful.


I don't discount the possibility that the marketing department is telling them that signing someone before Christmas will help sales. I also think the Pirates have to pay something of a premium to get someone to sign before February when people are getting desperate.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: November 27, 2022 at 12:48 PM (#6106964)
"Pirates thing to do" is a mindset, a philosophy, an inescapable fate, a nexus of possible FO decisions clustered in the "what is the point?" sub-space of the multi-dimensional universe of all FO decisions rather than any specific transaction type.

Still, yes, it is nice to see the Pirates spend money.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2022 at 12:58 PM (#6107028)

Signing a 37-yo 1-WAR player hoping he will bounce back to 1.5 WAR seems a very Pirates thing to do.

Especially when they have Ji Man Choi to do essentially the same thing while being younger and cheaper.


They also left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft the 21 year old 1B they got from the Cardinals for Jose Quintana - Malcolm Nunez, who hit .262/.367/.466 with 23 HR in the upper minors last year and is ranked #12 in their org by MLB Pipeline.

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