The Indians made a qualifying offer to their free agent first baseman Carlos Santana on Monday, a one year, $17.4 million dollar contract to at least retain him.
Santana has ten days to either accept it or decline it but that doesn’t mean the Indians will lose the 31 year old slugger if he declines.
The team is still negotiating a potential long term deal with the club however starting Tuesday, Santana can start negotiating deals with other teams.
Santana has been with the Indians organization since the team acquired him in 2009 from the Dodgers in exchange for Casey Blake.
Since making his major league debut in 2010, Santana is a .249 hitter with 174 home runs and 587 runs batted in. He’s the all time leader for the Indians in those categories as a switch hitter.
This past season in 154 games, he hit .259 with 23 home runs and 79 runs batted in and also seen his defensive skills at his peak and he’s been rewarded with being named a finalist for the American League Golden Glove award at first base.
In the American League Division Series against the Yankees, Santana hit .211 with one home run and four runs batted in during the five game series in which the Indians lost.
Spotrac.com has Santana’s market value at $17 million a year and thinks he can get a four year at $68 million dollars total.
Santana could take the one year deal and try to prove he’s worth that much money over an extended period and get it next offseason but at 31 years old, I’m sure both he and his agent know he may never see this kind of money again especially if he struggles next season.