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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Carlos Santana trade to the Twins may make most sense for Phillies

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Speculation on a Santana trade is increasing with the Twins a logical destination

Much speculation has developed in recent days that the Philadelphia Phillies could be looking to deal away first baseman Carlos Santana.
While I had previously pushed that possibility here at Phillies Nation, the notion gained real traction with a report earlier this week from MLB insider Ken Rosenthal that the Phillies were “shopping the hell” out of Santana.
It should be fairly obvious as to why the Phillies would be trying to move on from this player and contract. Spending $40 million over the next two years for a 33-34 year old whose best position is also best for your top current offensive player, Rhys Hoskins, seems to make little sense.
But with that in mind, are there any teams out there for whom Santana would make sense? Where might Phillies GM Matt Klentak look to find a match in such a trade?
Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors examined the situation in detail today and came up with a case for 14 different teams, nearly half of the clubs in Major League Baseball, to add Santana to their mix.
In breaking down Santana himself as a player, the limited number of teams who are probably actually looking to add such a player, the financial situations of the other ball clubs, and the other available options on the market, Dierkes made the following observation:
“…in reality there are enough cheaper alternatives on the market that the Phillies will have to kick in at least $10MM, or else take back a contract or attach a prospect.”
Less than a handful of teams would appear to actually make sense in such a deal. A genuine case can be made that a match could be found with the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox, and Minnesota Twins.



As Dierkes pointed out in his piece, Joe Mauer has retired and Logan Morrison is now a free agent. Those two combined to handle 140 games at the first base position in Minnesota in the 2018 season.
Minnesota has just $24.5 million in guaranteed contracts on the books for next season, and none at all in 2020. Cots Contracts estimates the Twins payroll for next season to reach just past the $70 million mark, and then drop precipitously in the 2020 campaign.
With the team’s payroll having exceeded the $100 million mark in six of the last eight seasons, peaking at nearly $129 million last year, Minnesota can certainly afford the Santana contract. At the very least they could afford half of the deal, which would help the Phillies financial situation.