I had suggested Santana to the Detroit Tigers this past offseason for two chief reasons: firstly, they would need a first baseman after the departure of fan-favorite CJ Cron. Secondly, Santana, despite his abysmal batting average over the past several seasons, has shown both the ability to hit for power and to walk; two skills the Detroit Tigers struggled with mightily over the past few seasons.
Should the Detroit Tigers Have Signed Carlos Santana?
MLB Trade Rumors had projected a Santana deal at one year, $6 million but Santana would ultimately sign in the Central Division with the Kansas City Royals for 2 years, $17 million. Considering the Detroit Tigers only gave a multi-year deal to Robbie Grossman, it would seem that a heftier two-year pact would have been out of the cards financially.
That said, Santana has been the model of consistency this spring. In the article from December, I trumpeted such predictability, although Santana has essentially no ceiling. The Detroit Tigers opted for more ceiling, control, and a cheaper price with Renato Nunez, who agreed to a $1.3 million deal if he makes the club; not a bad investment for a 30-home run guy in 2019.
Here are Carlos Santana’s numbers thus far in spring:
It is hard to envision Nunez being a part of the next contending Tigers team, but the same could be said for Santana; simply considering the length of his contract and his age. If Nunez’s power can translate to Comerica Park, he’s a possible trade chip and actual flip candidate as the Detroit Tigers begin to build.