The Pittsburgh Pirates and first baseman Carlos Santana have agreed to a one-year, $6.725 million contract, a team source confirmed to The Athletic. ESPN was first to report the news. Here’s what you need to know:
- Santana hit .202/.316/.376 with 19 home runs across 131 games last season.
- The 36-year-old switch-hitter began 2022 with the Royals but was traded midseason to the Mariners.
- An All-Star and Silver Slugger with Cleveland in 2019, Santana is entering his 14th MLB season.
Santana’s signing adds more depth for the Pirates at first base after the team traded for 31-year-old veteran Ji-Man Choi earlier this month. Pittsburgh used 10 different first basemen in 2022 — including Michael Chavis and Yoshi Tsutsugo, both of whom were released before the end of the season — and got minus-3.0 fWAR out of the position.
At the plate, Santana is known for his discipline. He owns a 15.2 percent career walk rate, and ranked in the 97th percentile of MLB last season with a walk rate of 14 percent, according to Statcast. He may also get a boost in 2023 with MLB’s shift ban after he saw a 98.3 percent shift rate during left-handed at-bats last season.
(Photo: Steven Bisig / USA Today)