Red Sox to meet with free agent Carlos Santana this week

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Carlos Santana
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Carlos Santana /

The Boston Red Sox are reportedly meeting with the team representing free agent first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana.

The Boston Red Sox will leave no stone unturned in their search for a power bat this winter.

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are scheduled to meet with free agent Carlos Santana‘s team this week during the GM meetings.

Santana, a 31-year-old switch-hitter has spent his entire eight-year career with the Cleveland Indians, aiding them in consecutive playoff appearances in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

2017 was Santana’s last season of a five-year $21 million contract. Seen as a work-horse with power, Santana has played over 140 games in each of his last seven seasons in Cleveland.

It’s no secret that the Red Sox are eyeing a power bat this offseason, and even though they have been linked to Marlins superstar and the hottest slugger on the trade market, Giancarlo Stanton, Santana is a less flashy, and cheaper fallback option.

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Acquiring Stanton from Miami demands that Boston opens its wallet as he will not come cheap. Stanton comes with the biggest contract in sports history at 13 years for $325 million accompanied by a full no-trade clause and the ability to opt-out after the 2020 season. He carries an average annual value of over $25 million for each of the next 11 seasons with a club option for 2028.

The price will be steep when factoring in the potential money Miami will want the Red Sox to take on along with potentially giving up at least one of their talented trio of outfielders in Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley or even perennial All-Star Mookie Betts as well as perhaps one or more top-10 prospects in the system.

In an offseason without too many free agent power bats, Santana offers the Red Sox a cheaper option at first base. Santana will demand a multi-year deal that carries a value of at least $15 million a year. He declined the $17.4 million qualifying offer extended to him this offseason meaning that if Boston does come to an agreement with him, he will cost them a draft pick.

Next: 5 affordable free agent bats

When all is said and done a smaller contract and a lost draft pick would be a small price to pay for Santana compared to the haul of cash and prospects it will cost for Stanton, or the $200 million deal J.D. Martinez appears to be demanding.