The Royals have signed first baseman Carlos Santana to a two-year, $17.5 million deal with incentives according to MLB Network reporter Jon Heyman. The 34-year old switch hitter has spent ten of his eleven big league seasons with the Cleveland Indians, hitting .199/.349/.350 for them last year with 8 home runs in 60 games, leading the league in walks for the second time in his career. He was an All-Star as recently as 2019, winning a Silver Slugger Award with a line of .281/.397/.515 with 34 home runs.
Dayton Moore said earlier this off-season that the team needed more “on-base guys” and Santana certainly provides that. He has a career line of .248/.366/.446 with 240 home runs and since he became a regular in 2011, he has the fifth-highest walk rate in baseball at over 15 percent. Santana has always hit well in Kauffman Stadium, with a career line of 327/.449/.628 with 18 home runs in 74 games, his best numbers in any American League ballpark.
Santana will likely play first base, pushing Hunter Dozier to third base, and this could mean Ryan O’Hearn does not have a spot on this roster. The Royals are only of the most active early teams with Santana being their third signing in the last two weeks, joining Mike Minor and Michael Taylor.