Santana spent the first eight seasons of his career in Cleveland, before becoming a free agent and signing a three-year, $60 million contract with Philadelphia. He'll play in his age-23 season in 2019 and did have a strong track record of hitting for contact throughout the minors, so there's still good reason to think he'll develop into a regular at first base, but the lack of power limits his ceiling and he's not good enough on defense to play other positions.
Cleveland also gave up a round B draft pick in the deal which was announced on Thursday. Carlos Santana was sent back to Cleveland, where he was an Indians fan favorite. The Indians will also receive first baseman Jake Bauers in the deal. Encarnacion is owed $20 million in 2019 and a $5 million buyout (or $20 million) in 2020.
The Rays got infielder Yandy Diaz and minor league right-hander Cole Sulser from Cleveland. He leads the major leagues in home runs and RBI since 2012.
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Philadelphia sent Santana to the rebuilding Mariners this month in a trade that included All-Star shortstop Jean Segura. Highly regarded at 27, his opportunities were limited with the Indians because they already had a talented infield. Of course, he didn't even hit for contact in his rookie year in 2018, striking out 26.8 percent of the time and posting a.201/.316/.384 line in 388 PA and producing less than nothing against lefties.
"The key to this deal for us is how we feel about Yandy Diaz", said Chaim Bloom, the Rays' senior vice president of baseball operations. "He's a third baseman by trade". He posted a.246 average last season with 32 home runs and 107 RBI.
He mostly slotted at DH for the Indians but he did play 23 games at first base. And how could that trade not somehow involve (1) weirdness and (2) the Rays?