Chuck Crow, The Plain DealerCarlos Santana, pointing to the stands on Sunday after hitting his second homer of the game against Toronto, has agreed on a multiyear contract extension with the Indians. Previous Plain Dealer coverage
Here’s the breakdown on catcher Carlos Santana’s new five-year, $21 million contract extension:
CLEVELAND, Ohio — after going three years without signing a young player to a contract extension, the Indians have announced the signing of shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and catcher Carlos Santana within the last six days.
Following Cabrera’s signing of a two-year, $16.5 million extension last week, the Indians on Tuesday signed Santana to a five-year, $21 million deal. The contract runs through 2016, with a $12 million club option for 2017.
Manager Manny Acta called Santana and Cabrera, both 26, “cornerstone players,” but Santana could be here much longer. Cabrera can be a free agent after 2014. Santana could be a fixture in Cleveland for the next six years.
“This is my second home,” said Santana, echoing Cabrera’s message from last week. “I’d like to spend my whole career here.”
GM Chris Antonetti said negotiations with Adam Katz, one of Santana’s agents, began early in spring training and finally came to a resolution on Opening Day.
“In a very short time, we’ve seen Carlos develop into one of the best offensive catchers in baseball,” said Antonetti. “What has us excited organizationally is not only the offense he provides, but how far he’s come defensively and the commitment he’s made to be the best catcher he can be.
“When you combine his offense, and what he provides behind the plate with his defense and leadership potential, it leaves us with a cornerstone player not only for the present, but for the teams to come.”
Santana will receive a $1 million signing bonus this year along with his base salary of $501,900. Then the deal unfolds this way: $550,000 in 2013, $3.5 million in 2014, $6 million in 2015, $8.25 million in 2016 with a club option worth $12 million and a $1.2 million buyout. If Santana qualifies as a Super two player at the end of this year, which is unlikely, the deal will be restructured.
The last pre-arbitration eligible player the Indians signed was Roberto Hernandez in 2008. they went into this off-season without one player signed to a guaranteed contract past 2012.
“I know that there was something about us selling the team because we didn’t have players under contract,” said Paul Dolan, Indians chairman and CEO. “I can say I didn’t worry a bit about that stuff.”
Dolan said ownership has always been willing to strike a multiyear deal with a player if the terms are right.
“There’s risk on both sides,” he said. “Some deals have worked out better than others. Both sides are looking for something and hopefully both sides get it — the player gets the security, the team gets the certainty.”
Santana is in his second full season in the big leagues. he was not eligible for arbitration at the end of last season and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season. in other words, the Indians had Santana under control for the next five years whether they signed him to an extension or not. Still, one of the first things young big league players seek is security.
“Carlos always expressed that he wanted the security so he could play some baseball and help this team win championships,” said Andy Mota, another of Santana’s agents. “At the end of the day, that’s why it got done.”
Santana is hitting .250 (4-for-16) with two homers and four RBI through the first four games of this season. he hit two homers Sunday to celebrate his 26th birthday. he drove in a run in Monday’s 4-2 loss to Chicago.
The Indians are basing their investment on Santana on what he did last year. while hitting only .239 (132-for-552), Santana produced 35 doubles, two triples and 27 homers with 79 RBI. he scored 84 runs, drew 97 walks for a slugging percentage of .457 and an on-base percentage of .351.
Santana split time between catching and first base last year. This year he’ll concentrate on catching. He’ll move to DH against certain lefties to rest his legs.
Since the end of last season, according to MLBTraderumors.com, teams gave extensions to 11 pre-arbitration eligible players. they included Santana, Andrew McCutchen, Derek Holland, Jon Niese, Alcides Escobar, Cameron Maybin, Sergio Santos, Jonathan Lucroy, Cory Luebke, Salvador Perez and Matt Moore. Lucroy and Perez are catchers like Santana.
Last year, Santana’s 27 home runs set a club record for switch hitters. he also became the first catcher in Indians history to record at least 30 doubles, 25 homers and draw 90 walks in one season.
Antonetti indicated that he currently wasn’t talking to any other players about multiyear deals, but said he was always willing to listen.
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