It’s been a busy Friday for the Phillies.
Multiple outlets are reporting that the Phils have signed free agent first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million deal. Santana, who will turn 32 next season, hit .259/.363/.455 with 23 bombs and 37 doubles in 667 PAs last season, and since becoming a full-time player in 2011, has a slash line of .249/.363/.445 with 168 home runs, an average of 26 a season per 162 games. He doesn’t provide elite power, having hit more than 30 homers just once in his career (34 in 2016), but does have some pop, and he’s averaged 102 walks a season over the last four years..
Among qualified first basemen, Santana’s fWAR of 3.0 ranked 12th, putting him in the upper half in baseball. His walk rate (13.2%) was much higher than the league average (8.5%), and his strikeout rate (14.1%) was much lower (21.6%). His walk-to-strikeout rate of 0.94 was better than any of the 13 Phillies players who accumulated at least 150 plate appearances last season (Rhys Hoskins’ was 0.80).
The Santana signing seemingly pushes Hoskins to the outfield full-time. In 50 career MLB starts, 29 of them have come in left field, and the team obviously feels good enough about him out there defensively to make this move. However, it does leave the Phils with four outfielders for three spots.
A corresponding move seems inevitable.
Reports of Phillies agreement w Santana are accurate. 3 years, 60 mill. Hoskins will play much LF. Frees up any other OF for trade. Rebuild ramped up.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) December 15, 2017
Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera or Nick Williams can now be moved in a trade, perhaps to shore up the starting rotation. There is also a chance Hoskins could be moved, or the Phils could simply put Altherr on the bench as the team’s fourth outfielder. The signing comes just minutes after the team announced they had traded long-time shortstop Freddy Galvis to the San Diego Padres for a pitching prospect.
Wait for some more shoes to drop after this shocker of a move.