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Monday, June 27, 2022

Seattle Mariners acquire first baseman Carlos Santana from Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHPs Wyatt Mills, William Fleming

The Seattle Mariners announced Monday that they’ve acquired infielder Carlos Santana from the Kansas City Royals.

The 36-year-old Santana, in his 13th season, is hitting .216 with four home runs and 21 RBIs this season. He is in the final season of a two-year contract that he signed with the Royals in 2021.

The trade sends right-handed pitcher Wyatt Mills and minor league righty William Fleming to the Royals.

Mills, 27, has a 4.15 ERA in 8⅔ innings for the Mariners this season but is 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 19⅔ innings for Triple-A Tacoma.

Fleming, 23, is 6-6 with a 4.92 ERA in 14 starts for the Mariners’ Single-A franchise in Modesto.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2022 at 03:22 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: carlos santana, mariners, royals, vinnie pasquantino

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   1. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 27, 2022 at 03:32 PM (#6084110)
Huh. There's never been a Rob Thomas in the major leagues.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: June 27, 2022 at 03:55 PM (#6084119)
What about a Tom Roberts?
   3. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 27, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6084123)
This seems like a pointless trade. Seattle is 7 games out of the third WC, behind 4 other teams, and 12 games out of first.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2022 at 04:18 PM (#6084126)
Man, if you only know Carlos Santana via the Rob Thomas connection then go listen to the late 60s, early 70s material.

Meanwhile -- those sound like actual potentially useful baseball players in exchange for Carlos Santana. Lo and behold, bWAR tells me he's been league average this year with good defense. What's happened to the world that 36-yo 1Bs can play good defense. Then I thought maybe his statcast numbers are better than the results ... and they are but they aren't any better than the last couple of years and we're now at 1000+ PA with a 86 OPS+.

A very fine player with a very fine career (32 WAR) but an odd acquisition for a 34-40 team. I see Ty France is on the IL, is that a serious injury?

Anyway, all-Carlos team ... the OF can go get 'em, you decide who plays CF ... this is one fine team. The bullpen needs work but they've got plenty to trade to the all-Trevor and all-Jesse teams. (Really shows the influx of Latin/Hispanic players as nearly all of these guys are from the last 30 years.)

C Santana
1B Delgado
2B Baerga
SS Correa
3B Guillen (183 starts)
OF Beltran
OF Gomez
OF Gonzalez

backup C, would start on most teams: "Chooch" Ruiz (22 WAR)
DH, bench bat, would start on most teams: Pena (25 WAR)
OF, bench bat, would start on most teams: Lee (28 WAR)
OF, bench bat, would start on some teams: May (10 WAR), Quentin (10 WAR)
bench IF: Garcia, Febles (man that didn't last long)

SP Zambrano, Carrasco, Martinez, Rodon, Silva, Perez
RP Marmol, Torres, Villanueva, Reyes

EDIT: Actually Carlos Lee has 4 more WAR than Gomez or Gonzalez
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 27, 2022 at 06:59 PM (#6084156)
I see Ty France is on the IL, is that a serious injury?

I'm thinking that the entire reason for the trade is insurance for the France injury. The injury is described as a "sprained elbow" (it looked awful when it happened) and officially France "is optimistic he won't need more than the allotted time." But with injuries such as this, you never know. With Evan White also being unavailable, the Mariners are exceedingly thin at first base right now, and they're just getting insurance in case he's missing for a few weeks...
   6. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 27, 2022 at 07:02 PM (#6084158)
Man, if you only know Carlos Santana via the Rob Thomas connection then go listen to the late 60s, early 70s material.
I feel deeply offended that you thought this advice was necessary.
   7. Snowboy Posted: June 27, 2022 at 07:40 PM (#6084169)
The Ty France injury is a grade 2 flexor strain, elbow. He was injured playing first base. The batter Neuse and ball arrived at the same time, and ran into his left arm/glove. He went down for a while in considerable pain, and was removed from the game. He's out for at least a few weeks. France leads the team in WAR and is 2nd in AL All-Star voting for 1B.
   8. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 27, 2022 at 07:44 PM (#6084170)
I suppose Santana would be a slight upgrade at DH if not needed at first. But the Mariners do not employ anything like a regular DH. So far this year they have had 10 different players start at DH, with the most being 14 games by Eugenio Suarez. Maybe because they don't have anyone, or maybe because they use the spot as a pseudo day off position.

Still seems like a pointless low risk/low reward trade for a team 7 games out and 4 teams behind a playoff spot. Contra Walt, the 2 pitchers do not strike me a potentially useful, but you never know with pitchers. One is a 27 YO with 21 IP and a 54 ERA+ in the majors, and the other is a 23 YO 11th round draft pick struggling in A ball. Santana is signed only through this year and will be paid about 6 mil by the Mariners.
   9. Snowboy Posted: June 27, 2022 at 07:54 PM (#6084174)
coke to vortex.

The injury reminds me of two things:
Classic moment in the movie "Moneyball" when Beane is trying to convince Scott Hatteberg to join the A's, and play first base.
"But I don't know nothing about playing first base?"
"Aw, c'mon Scott, playing first base is easy! Tell him, Wash!"
"It's incredibly hard."

Secondly I was watching the game live on tv in a pub on May 15, 1995 when Cliff Floyd got his wrist broken by a running batter as he reached for a throw. I immediately paid my tab, and I think I threw up on the walk home. Cliffy was the Expos regular starting 1B on their magic 1994 team at age 21, but he was real reluctant to play 1B ever again after that injury, he may have done it only 10 or 11 times the rest of his career. (I'm not saying that will be France's fate, but the injury reminded me of Floyd's)
   10. Zach Posted: June 27, 2022 at 07:57 PM (#6084176)
I am surprised anyone was willing to give up a useful part for Carlos Santana. I supported the signing when the Royals made it, and I don't have any complaints about how he conducted himself while in town, but I was really expecting him to be a better hitter than that.

I hope the Mariners get everything they want from him, because I have been ready for the Pasquantino era for a long time now.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2022 at 08:32 PM (#6084179)
#6 ... You should be... While I track many things primates' music tastes and ages are not among them. But that the name Rob Thomas even crossed your mind is reason for concern
   12. Boxkutter Posted: June 27, 2022 at 09:00 PM (#6084183)
The Royals are picking up 4.5 of the remaining 6 million this year. But for them it's addition by subtraction. It clears the way for 1B prospect Vinnie Pasquantino in KC.
   13. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 27, 2022 at 09:35 PM (#6084193)
OK, thanks. I checked every article on the trade and none mentioned that.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2022 at 11:41 PM (#6084224)
I'm with Zach, I'm amazed the Royals got anything for Santana. And despite the metrics, he has looked bad at first base. He's actually probably better than the metrics offensively, he was running into some bad luck to start that is evening out now. But he's pretty close to the end, I don't really get why Seattle would even waste their time, they must think they're due for a run?
   15. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 28, 2022 at 12:15 AM (#6084226)
A firstbaseman with decent OBP but his power is sapped. Royals are likely happy they found somebody to take part of his salary, let alone give up a reliever who could have some upside.
   16. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: June 28, 2022 at 12:22 AM (#6084227)
#6 ... You should be... While I track many things primates' music tastes and ages are not among them. But that the name Rob Thomas even crossed your mind is reason for concern

There hasn't yet been a player named Michelle Branch, either
   17. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2022 at 02:24 AM (#6084228)
Let me know when you get to Jaimie Branch and I'll start giving you guys cool points.
   18. bfan Posted: June 28, 2022 at 12:43 PM (#6084273)
I feel like the Seattle GM went 2 weeks without a trade and panicked.
   19. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: June 28, 2022 at 12:59 PM (#6084277)
But there has been a Leon Thomas (by far the coolest Santana vocalist), if you count Pepper Daniels, a catcher in the negro leagues whose given name was Leon Thomas Daniels.
   20. bookbook Posted: June 28, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6084297)
From the Mariners perspective, they did commit to trying this year. Santana represents an offensive upgrade on Torrens, Toro, Frazier, any overexposed Moore, etc.

Mills and Fleming isn’t that much to give up. They’ll draft 3 or 4 more promising pitchers in July.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2022 at 07:37 PM (#6084363)
any overexposed Moore

There was a time when an overexposed Mary Tyler Moore would have been very much to my liking. Perhaps I digress (and show my age!)

Santana naturally raises the specter of (the very much still alive as far as I know) Eric Hosmer. (And Mitch Moreland and Mark Reynolds and too many players to count without a stathead sub.) There are always, always, always somewhere in baseball, one or more 1Bs with league-average bats holding down starting jobs and, as demonstrated by Moreland and Reynolds, they aren't all there just because their team signed them to a dumb long-term contract. When Hosmer signed it I did say "lots of reasons not to like that contract but he's got a very good chance of still holding a full-time-ish job through to the end."

Hosmer's deal has 3 more (pretty cheap) years after this which will take him through 35. Santana is 36, played all 60 in 2020, 158 last year and this year is finally seeing some bench time but still about 70% of games. Nobody ever thought Moreland was any good and he had become a part-timer but was still in the majors for ages 33-35. Reynolds was full time at 33, half-time at 34 and in the majors at 35. Adam LaRoche had 1650 PA (and 2.4 WAR) from 33-35.

These guys hang on for the same reason anybody manages to hang on. Teams need somebody over there and there are probably only 10 guys who are actually better than average (and they're expensive and/or controlled), 10 guys who are average (who somebody offered more money) and you'd rather have a 1 WAR vet that you know can handle the position than some 28-yo AAAA guy whose upside is probably 1 WAR. 0 WAR guys are at least theoretically "free" but 1 WAR guys are not (but they are usually cheap). So the Ms are trying not to suck as badly as they could -- we should applaud them for caring about as little as 1 win.
   22. Zach Posted: June 28, 2022 at 08:15 PM (#6084368)
I see where you're going with this, Walt, but I think it's playing with endpoints to call Santana a league-average bat. He currently has a 98 OPS+ at the end of a major hot streak; until then he hadn't sniffed league average in the last two years.
   23. Zach Posted: June 28, 2022 at 08:20 PM (#6084369)
Walt isn't playing with endpoints, of course: I am.

But my read on Santana the last two years hasn't been a league average bat.
   24. Ron J Posted: June 28, 2022 at 09:14 PM (#6084379)
#23 My take as well. I don't like his odds of meeting the low expectations people have been talking about in the thread. Been wrong before and he's not that old, still I'd be surprised if he's a useful place holder.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:26 PM (#6084670)
Oh, I don't like Santana's prospects at this point either. But he's 36, of course this is the end of the road. My point is he's been that league-average bat for the last few years, not that he necessarily is this very moment much less next year. 2021 was ugly but 2020 was "fine" and 2022 has been "fine." Seattle might be wrong in hoping he can be meh the rest of the way, the question is what are the better genuinely freely available options?
   26. Walt Davis Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:27 PM (#6084671)

Joan Baez
   27. Zach Posted: June 30, 2022 at 04:34 PM (#6084836)
Oh, ok. I thought you were basing "league average" on his currently having a 95 OPS+. And while it's technically true that you should use the full season's data for any projections going forward, it also feels in this particular case like Seattle pipped a guy on a hot streak who wouldn't have been describable that way two weeks ago.

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