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Tribe Notes

AP sources: Carlos Santana leaving Indians for Phillies ... and $60 million

  • Phillies-Santana-Baseball

    The Indians' Carlos Santana connects for a two-run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Division Series, in New York on Oct. 9. Two people familiar with the situation say the Phillies and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal.

    KATHY WILLENS / AP FILE

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PHILADELPHIA — Carlos Santana is taking his big bat and postseason experience to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The 31-year-old first baseman, who has spent all eight of his big league season with the Cleveland Indians, became the first of the offseason’s big-name free agents to find a new home, agreeing Friday to a $60 million, three-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to two people familiar with the deal.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement is contingent on Santana passing a physical.

Santana became the first to reach a deal among the nine free agents who last month rejected $17.4 million qualifying offers from their former teams.

Santana’s departure is a big loss for Cleveland, which led the AL with 102 wins during the regular season but lost to the New York Yankees in a Division Series.

Under baseball's new labor contract, Cleveland gets an extra draft pick after the first round next June, and Philadelphia loses its second-highest selection and forfeits $500,000 of international signing bonus allotment for the 2018-19 signing period.

Santana has a .213 average with four homers and eight RBIs in 21 career postseason games.

Philadelphia also traded shortstop Freddy Galvis to San Diego for minor league pitcher Enyel De Los Santos, and finalized two-year deals with relievers Tommy Hunter ($18 million) and Pat Neshek ($16.25 million).

Santana hit 23 home runs with 79 RBIs for Cleveland last season. He started as a catcher in 2010 and shifted to first base in 2015.

Santana, who has a .249 career batting average and .445 slugging percentage, is expected to play first base for Philadelphia. Slugger Rhys Hoskins would stay in left field, giving the Phillies a surplus of outfielders to use as trade bait for starting pitching.

Despite finishing last in the NL East at 66-96, the Phillies were 35-35 in the last 70 games and 39-37 overall against NL East opponents.

The switch-hitting Santana gives the team a disciplined power hitter to protect Hoskins. He averaged 98 walks in seven full seasons and has a .365 career on-base percentage.

Maikel Franco led the Phillies with 24 homers last season and Hoskins hit 18 in only 50 games.

Tribe adds player

The Indians made another move, signing free agent outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to a minor league contract, pending a successful physical.

The deal includes an invitation to big league spring training. He was limited to 12 games last season at Triple-A Sacramento by thumb and shoulder injuries. The San Francisco Giants released Upton in August.

If healthy, Upton could give the Indians some outfield depth and insurance in case the club doesn’t re-sign Austin Jackson, who is a free agent. Jackson was a valuable addition last season for the AL Central champions.

In 2016, Upton batted .238 with 20 homers and 61 RBIs with 27 steals for San Diego and Toronto. The 33-year-old has mostly played center field during his career, which has also included stops at Tampa Bay and Atlanta.

The Indians have some unanswered questions in the outfield with Michael Brantley (ankle) and Bradley Zimmer (hand) coming off injuries.



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