The Pittsburgh Pirates officially announced the signing of first baseman Carlos Santana to a one-year contract on Tuesday afternoon. This news was broke three days ago by multiple sources, but the deal was still pending physical at the time. The Pirates still need to make a 40-man roster move, which they noted in the press release will be made later today.
From today’s press release:
Carlos is a pro who is always ready to play and will add consistent at-bats from both sides of the plate and quality defense,” said Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington. “We look forward to welcoming Carlos to our team and clubhouse.”
Santana, who will turn 37 years old shortly after Opening Day, has spent 13 seasons in the majors, mostly with the Cleveland Indians. He started as a catcher. but he hasn’t caught since the 2014 season. He split 2022 between first base and DH. He is a career .242/.359/.432 hitter in 1,784 games, with 32.1 WAR to his credit.
Santana had a .911 OPS in 158 games in 2019, when he had a career best 4.5 WAR. He has not approached that number since then, putting up a .699 OPS in 60 games during the shortened 2020 season. He had a .660 OPS in 158 games with the Kansas City Royals in 2021, and he split the 2022 season between the Royals and Seattle Mariners, posting a .202/.316/.376 slash line in 131 games. He has 2.1 WAR total over the last three season, and he has -0.9 dWAR during that time, though some defensive metrics rate him well.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.