The Kansas City Royals were looking for a first baseman who can get on base and provide pop. They’ve found their man.
Santana had a down 2020 that saw him hit .199, but he still got on base at a .349 clip, as he walked a league-leading 47 times. Most of his average struggles weren’t due to contact issues, as he only struck out 43 times. He’s still only a year removed from his first All-Star nod in 2019, that saw him posting a .281/.397/.515 clip with a .911 OPS.
Over time with the Indians and Phillies, the veteran has an .812 lifetime OPS to coincide with a .248/.336/.446 slashline. The 34 year old may not be the best hitter for average, but he’s walked 100 or more times four times in 11 seasons, 90 or more in eight. He averages 24 homeruns over a 162 pace.
It’s interesting to see the Royals pick Santana up, considering they’re coming off of a season where they went 26-34. But, if Santana has a great first half the second year on the contract gets them a far bigger return at the deadline. If he doesn’t, they have another year to use him as a trade chip.