Carlos Santana Gets Two Years and $17 Million from the Royals - Again, Market Looking Not So Terrible

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Carlos Santana Gets Two Years and $17 Million from the Royals – Again, Market Looking Not So Terrible

Chicago Cubs

First Adam Eaton getting $7 million and now Carlos Santana getting two years and $17 million. The market, again, is not looking all that horrible at the moment.

Santana, who’ll play next season at age 35, remains a super-high-walk-super-low-strikeout guy, though he was a below-average performer in the shortened 2020 season. Projections for next year have him around a 110-115 wRC+, and depending on your ratings of preference, he’s probably an average to solidly below average defensive first baseman.

That is not at all a bad get for him, and it’s surprising to see the Royals jump at that price tag.

All right, so all I can think about in this moment is why didn’t a team trade for Kyle Schwarber at a projected $8 to $10 million in arbitration? The Cubs non-tendered him, so clearly there was no market for him at that price at the time (and they also didn’t value him at that price), but how in the world is Santana getting 2/$17 when Schwarber, ostensibly, isn’t worth 1/$8 million? Are the arbitration projections wildly off (Schwarber got a touch over $7 million last year)? Did he fundamentally break in 2020 in a way that we can’t detect but all teams know? Did the Cubs just completely whiff the trade talks AND the tender decisions? What’s going on? I get that he’s not a first baseman, and maybe it’s as simple as that, but wouldn’t you rather have his offensive upside at half the commitment of Santana? Or wouldn’t you rather have his upside in a corner outfield spot for nearly the same price at Eaton? I know I’m a Schwarber homer, but come on.

This signing just makes me all the more fascinated to find out what Schwarber’s market looks like in free agency. Maybe the Cubs really will try to re-up with him on a multi-year deal, but I could see these signings suggesting that Schwarber should be able to get a deal near his arb projection.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.