Twins Carlos Santana nearing deal, per source: Why Minnesota is interested in adding veteran

The Minnesota Twins are close to reaching an agreement with free agent first baseman and designated hitter Carlos Santana, a league source confirmed Friday. The source said that the contract will be for one year and in the range of $5 million.

Santana was once a power center for the Cleveland Guardians, where he had a knack for hitting big against the Twins, but the 37-year-old is finishing things as a role player. He hit .240/.318/.429 with 23 homers, 65 walks, and a 103 OPS+ in 146 games last season as a regular, but a switch-hitter would likely be better suited for a platoon at this point in his career.

Santana hasn't topped his .730 OPS against righties since 2019, but with Alex Kirilloff around, Minnesota doesn't really need him for that anyway. He's hit .273/.359/.409 against lefties the past three seasons, showing a bit of the power and exceptional discipline at the plate that has always been his calling card.

Although his style is very different from Donovan Solano, who was Kirilloff's platoon partner last season, Santana would be a similar option at first base and designated hitter.

After taking nearly $6.5 million in salary via the five-player trade that sent Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners earlier this week, Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey has made it clear he plans to spend that money and will likely focus on Add right. -Corner racket.

Santana fits that bill, and just as importantly, given the Twins' self-imposed salary cap, he fits the price range.

They will use Edouard Julien and Kyle Farmer to replace Polanco at second base, and use Santana between first base and designated hitter.

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