Red Sox roster decision approaches on Danny Santana
The Boston Red Sox signed Danny Santana in early March and reckoning time approaches. If Santana is on the major league roster, the Red Sox are obligated to pay the 30-year-old switch hitter $1.75 million. He also has incentives that could add another $1 million to the Santana family treasury. The contract details are here.
The deal initially included a stipulation allowing Santana to opt-out if he weren’t promoted to the majors by the end of April. According to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe, Santana and the club have an informal understanding that they’ll push back that opt-out date by a couple of weeks. That buys the Red Sox some time but decision time is still looming.
The signing was one of depth as the Red Sox apparently were quite intent on creating a pool of versatile players. A collection of Brock Holt’s. Santana can and has played everywhere but catcher and pitching. He would join the versatility brotherhood that encompasses Marwin Gonzalez, Christian Arroyo, and Enrique Hernández.
Santana’s breakout season was 2019 in which he slashed 28/81/.283 for Texas. Breakout was followed by a breakdown in 2020 with a .145 batting average and a power outage. Albeit Santana’s miserable performance had the caveat of injuries. Most notably, an elbow that required surgery.
Santana’s injury jinx has continued with Boston. This time around the faulty body part was a leg, or more specifically, a foot infection. Santana is now in diligent workout mode leaving the Red Sox in decision mode. Santana is either on the team or can pursue other opportunities. Santana could also delay the whole process giving both sides an evaluation breather.
If Santana goes then someone must be tossed asunder. The two most obvious candidates are Franchy Cordero and Hunter Renfroe. Neither have the versatility of Santana. Offensively, even Santana’s wretched 2020 seems intent on being matched by Cordero and Renfroe.
Cordero seems lost. So does Renfroe. Both are a black hole in the lineup. Forget the flailing away, just moving a runner along appears a Herculean task to both. Offensively, Santana could not possibly be a downgrade even hobbling around on one pin. Defensively, all three will not be in contention for a Gold Glove Award outfield division.
So just what to do? Since this is an opinion piece, I would have Jarren Duran being chauffeured to Boston. All three could look elsewhere and save me from looking at another X-rated at-bat or flopping around the outfield garden attempting to track down a baseball.
But knowing Red Sox management, a Cordero or Renfroe will be a casualty. After all, this is a team that seems to wish Tanner Houck to wither away. In that instance, I would wave farewell to Cordero. At least Santana is a switch-hitter and can apply futility to both sides of the dish.