AP sources: Phillies, 1B Santana agree to $60M, 3-year deal
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Carlos Santana is bringing his big bat and postseason experience to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 31-year-old first baseman became the first of the offseason’s big-name free agents to find a new home, agreeing Friday to a $60 million, three-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to two people familiar with the deal.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement is contingent on Santana passing a physical.
Santana became the first to reach a deal among the nine free agents who last month rejected $17.4 million qualifying offers from their former teams.
Philadelphia also traded shortstop Freddy Galvis to San Diego for minor league pitcher Enyel De Los Santos, and finalized two-year deals with relievers Tommy Hunter ($18 million) and Pat Neshek ($16.25 million).
Santana hit 23 home runs with 79 RBIs for Cleveland, where he spent all eight of his big league seasons. He started as a catcher in 2010 and shifted to first base in 2015.
Santana, who has a .249 career batting average and .445 slugging percentage, is expected to play first base for Philadelphia. Slugger Rhys Hoskins would stay in left field, giving the Phillies a surplus of outfielders to use as trade bait for starting pitching.
Under baseball’s new labor contract, Cleveland gets an extra draft pick after the first round next June, and Philadelphia loses its second-highest selection and forfeits $500,000 of international signing bonus allotment for the 2018-19 signing period
Galvis was a finalist for a Gold Glove the past two seasons and hit a career-best 20 homers in 2016. He was the longest-tenured Phillies player. The 28-year-old switch hitter averaged 13 homers, 59 RBIs and 14 steals along with a .253 average over the past three years.
J.P. Crawford, a first-round pick in the 2013 amateur draft, will take over at shortstop.
Hunter was 3-5 with one save and a 2.61 ERA in 61 appearances last season for Tampa Bay, striking out 64 in 58 2/3 innings and holding opponents to a .202 batting average. Neshek was an All-Star for the Phillies this year before he was traded to Colorado. He went 5-3 with one save and a 1.59 ERA in 71 for the Phillies and Rockies.
Hunter gets a $6 million signing bonus and annual salaries of $6 million. Neshek receives a $4 million signing bonus and annual salaries of $5.75 million, and Philadelphia has a $7 million option for 2020 with a $750,000 buyout. Neshek would get a $500,000 assignment bonus if traded.
Despite finishing last in the NL East at 66-96, the Phillies improved in the second half as young players like Hoskins, Crawford, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro joined the lineup. They were 35-35 in the last 70 games and 39-37 overall against NL East opponents.
The switch-hitting Santana gives the team a disciplined power hitter to protect Hoskins. He averaged 98 walks in seven full seasons and has a .365 career on-base percentage.
Maikel Franco led the Phillies with 24 homers last season and Hoskins hit 18 in only 50 games.
Santana’s departure is a big loss for Cleveland, which led the AL with 102 wins during the regular season but lost to the New York Yankees in a Division Series.
Santana has a .213 average with four homers and eight RBIs in 21 career postseason games.
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