The Phillies' busy Friday continued with a pricey free-agent signing.
The Phils have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with former Cleveland Indian Carlos Santana, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.
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
Phillies deal with Santana is pending physical, source says— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) December 15, 2017
(The signing, which includes a fourth-year club option, was officially announced Wednesday. The Phillies will introduce Santana at a noon press conference Wednesday which can be streamed live on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com.)
It is by far the most expensive contract the Phillies have given out under the Matt Klentak-Andy MacPhail regime.
They had the money. When the offseason began, the only player the Phillies had signed to a multi-million dollar deal was Odubel Herrera.
Santana, 31, has always been a high-walk power hitter. From 2011 through 2017, he walked between 88 and 113 times each season, all while maintaining relatively low strikeout totals for a man with such power and plate selection.
In 2016, Santana set a career high with 34 home runs. Last season, he hit .259/.363/.455 with 37 doubles, 23 homers and 79 RBIs.
This addition provides the Phillies with much-needed pop to protect Rhys Hoskins and also gives the Phils added versatility. Santana is a switch-hitter who came up as a catcher, but he hasn't caught since 2014. The last three seasons, he has played primarily first base. In his eight seasons, Santana has also started 26 games at third base and seven in right field.
The move likely means Hoskins will play left field, and it could facilitate another Phillies trade of an outfielder such as Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr or Odubel Herrera.