The Phillies haven’t made the playoffs since 2011 and have finished last in the NL East three of the last four seasons, but they added a big bat Friday for their latest turnaround attempt.
Philadelphia agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with free agent Carlos Santana, FanRag Sports first reported , bringing some power to a lineup that ranked 26th in the majors in home runs last season. MLB.com reported the contract includes a $17.5 million team option for 2021.
It’s an intriguing move for a Phillies team that will be breaking in a new manager, Gabe Kapler, in 2018 and had insisted it planned on giving its young talent more playing time in the coming season. Adding an impact player like Santana seems to suggest more of a win-now approach, though reports of the agreement came shortly after the Phillies traded starting shortstop Freddy Galvis to the Padres.
If nothing else, adding Santana in the National League means breakout 2017 sensation Rhys Hoskins (18 home runs in 170 at-bats) will be playing left field rather than first base going forward.
Santana, 31, has an .810 OPS in eight big-league seasons, all with the Indians. While his power numbers have fluctuated, he has shown he can hit home runs (34 in 2016) and get on base (MLB-best 113 walks in 2014).