One week after non-tendering former Phillies corner infielder Maikel Franco, the Kansas City Royals signed former Phillies corner infielder Carlos Santana.
It’s a two-year deal for Santana worth $17.5 million, according to ESPN. The 34-year-old was a free agent after completing the three-year, $60 million contract he signed with the Phillies just before Christmas 2017.
Santana, of course, lasted just one season with the Phillies because of the predictable positional conundrum that existed the day he signed and persisted while he was here. The Phillies moved first baseman Rhys Hoskins to left field to fit in Santana but the defensive issues did not outweigh the duo’s offensive production that season. Santana hit .229 in his year with the Phillies, which was a career-low until he hit .199 this summer (he did lead the AL in walks).
The Phillies traded Santana and young shortstop J.P. Crawford after the 2018 season to Seattle for Jean Segura. In that deal, the Phillies took on just under $60 million over four years for Segura while offloading the remaining $42 million Santana was owed over two seasons.
At the time, it looked to be a solid trade by former Phils GM Matt Klentak because he used a redundancy and a young infielder who wasn’t panning out here to improve at a crucial position like shortstop.
Here we are two years later and it’s Segura’s contract the Phillies could be looking to move. Segura is owed $29 million the next two years and would not command that on the open market today. If the Phillies do trade him, they may have to assume some of his salary.
In Kansas City, Santana will likely play first base and shift Hunter Dozier to third base, the position Franco played for the Royals in 2020. Franco played all 60 games this season and started 59. He hit .278/.321/.457 with 16 doubles, eight homers and 38 RBI.
Franco is a free agent at age 28.