Anthony Spaulding, after Jon Paul Morosi, fancies the M's chances to play Santana at 1B next year:
The Mariners are looking at free agent first baseman Carlos Santana as a possible addition, sources told Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
However, Morosi says the Mariners and Santana have not had any “substantial talks” yet.
... The 31-year-old Santana is coming off a season in which he hit 23 home runs, had 79 RBI and a 3.4 WAR while slashing .259/.363/.455. In his eight years with the Tribe, Santana has played over 143 games in seven of those seasons and has slashed .249/.365/.445.
Along with Alonso, Santana is in a pool of first basemen that includes Eric Hosmer, Logan Morrison, Lucas Duda, Mark Reynolds, Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli. The Indians extended the $17.4 million qualifying offer to Santana last week, and he has until Thursday to decide whether or not he picks it up.
Carlos Santana averages a quite amazing 105 walks per 162 games over his 8-year career, and Jerry Dipoto loves the buzzword "traffic." In the last 7 years, as he has aged from 25 to 31, he has played from 143 to 154 games per year.
He slashed .259/.365/.445 last year, which echoes perfectly his .249/.365/.445 career line. Amusingly that could be similar to Eric Filia's 90th-percentile upside. How good is that or not, when the main thing you do is walk -- but you walk a mortal ton? Santana's career OPS+ is a whopping 121. Last year that would have been #2 in Seattle, to Boomstick - and Mitch Haniger.
He has a laughable 21% fish rate, which represents NOT the idea of Ben Gamel getting into a "zone" for two months, but Carlos Santana's routine ability to take control of pitch sequence. This is contagious. The Mariners want a CULTURE of professional at-bats and that is probably the largest benefit to bringing Santana here for a year or two.
Defensively he's bad. Figure him for -10 runs a year. Which amputates his WAR down to -- wait for it -- 3.0 per year. That is as compared to Alonso's 0.5 (with us) and Valencia's -0.4. Cleveland did make the $17.4 qualifying offer for him, so he'd cost the M's their what, #2 pick or so.
Dr. D heartily endorses the vague concept of "looking at" Carlos Santana, as he endorses the concepts of "being a good person," of "being kind to the environment" and similarly-useless vagaries. Add Santana's 250 times on base to the M's current lineup and we'd see some rallies. As the Indians did, with their 97 wins.