The Philadelphia Phillies were not planning to make a huge splash at the winter meetings this year but they defied the pundits and prognosticators and signed Carlos Santana to a three year deal worth 60 million dollars. This signing was a complete shock to all of the baseball community as this move was unorthodox and does not fit the rebuilding process that the Phillies organization is currently going through. After the 2020 season, this signing will go down in Phillies lore as one of the worst decisions by the Matt Klentak lead front office for a few different reasons.
First, the Phillies are coming off a season with just 66 victories and their lineup is full of question marks. Sure this team finished the season on a high note by finishing 37-38 in the second half, their young core of players under performed which ultimately cost Pete Mackanin his job. The pitching staff, who at one time seemed to have the brightest future, did not perform to standards and Carlos Santana, a first baseman, will not make a difference in changing the way the pitching staff performs. The Phillies should have invested in a veteran pitcher, who can also be a mentor to the young pitching staff.
Carlos also comes to the Phillies as their main power hitter a role he has never had in his young career. Some may argue that Rhys Hoskins will be a good compliment to Carlos’ power but Rhys still needs to prove he can hit for power over a course of an entire season. Rhys started off his career with a huge power surge but seemed to cool of as the season progressed. Major League pitchers seemed to have adjusted to Rhys’ power and they now have some information to study when preparing for the Phillies lineup. Carlos should be the cleanup hitter in the middle of an overall weak lineup that will not give opposing pitchers any nightmares. Carlos most likely will not see many hit able pitches throughout a game.
Another negative aspect of this signing is now the Phillies organization has less money available to sign free agents after the 2018 season. Usually this would not be a huge deal but as the entire baseball community knows by now Bryce Harper will be a free agent after next season. Every dollar will count when courting Harper to Philadelphia and this signing will not entice Bryce ever so slightly to take a second look to the city of brotherly love. The Cubs, Red Sox, and Yankees will be emptying their payrolls in order to afford Harper, while the Phillies went and signed a 31 year old first baseman. I think that gives the upper hand to the opposing teams in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
Carlos Santana is a solid baseball player. He just won his first career Wilson defensive player of the year award, which just goes to show you that he will be a strength on the defensive side of the ball. He also made the playoffs this past year so he does have post season experience which is something valuable come October. This signing makes no sense in the concept of the Phillies organization because he doesn’t seem to be the long term answer nor will he an immediate impact this season. The Phillies should have not signed Carlos Santana and they should have saved the money for the 2018 free agent class.
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