PITTSBURGH — The Pirates have further addressed their offensive shortage at first base by signing Carlos Santana to a one-year, $6.7 million deal pending the passing of a physical, a source confirmed to the Post-Gazette on Friday night.
Santana, 36, has played for Cleveland, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Seattle during his MLB career that totals 13 years and 1,784 games. Last year, Santana split time between the Royals and Mariners, hitting .202 with a .692 OPS in 131 games.
Those numbers, however, can be misleading for the switch-hitter out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Aside from hitting 19 home runs and driving in 60 runs, Santana ranked in the 97th percentile in walk rate, per Statcast. Furthermore, Santana’s strikeout rate was in the 74th percentile, his whiff rate in the 71st and his chase in the 87th. He also hit the ball hard, as evidenced by his 90.7 mph average exit velocity (81st percentile).
Nobody saw more shifts than Santana (98.3%), and obviously that won’t be possible in 2023, meaning he could be poised for a bounce-back season.
Santana hit 34 home runs and amassed 93 RBIs in 2019 while playing for Cleveland. That’s also when he posted a career-best .911.
The Pirates also traded for Ji-Man Choi earlier this month, a likely platoon partner at the position.©2022 PG Publishing Co. Visit at post-gazette.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.