The Pros of Signing Domingo Santana
As has already being mentioned, the Seattle Mariners decided to part ways with Domingo Santana after just one season.
He earned $1.9 million in salary in 2019, but instead of giving him a raise next season through arbitration, the Mariners decided against tendering him a contract.
A move like that is a reflection of Santana’s skill set.
He possesses a solid bat, but his defensive shortcomings and diminished production in the second half largely undercut his overall value.
Adding him could prove to be an opportunistic move by the San Francisco Giants that doesn’t break the bank.
In addition to this, the Giants do not have any of their top outfield prospects ready to contribute at the major league level.
They will likely give substantial playing time in left field to Austin Slater and Jaylin Davis. Both are deserving of the opportunity, but there is still plenty of playing time available.
The obvious asset that Santana brings to the table is his bat. Despite his second half struggles in 2019, he has an extensive track of productivity in the batter’s box:
Throughout his career, the right-handed hitting slugger has generated a .259/.329/.453 line for a 111 OPS+ across 1,835 plate appearances in six seasons. That includes 75 home runs, 84 doubles, and 232 RBI. Clearly, he does not only have gap-to-gap power but over-the-fence pop, and he could be slotted into the middle of the Giants order immediately.
His peripheral stats include a 31.9 percent strikeout rate against a 10.6 percent walk rate. He walks at a healthy clip, but can be very prone to swinging-and-missing.
With that being said, no one on the Giants roster has a track record of producing at the plate that spans multiple seasons, beyond the aging veterans.
Mike Yastrzemski showed promise in his rookie season with an .852 OPS and 21 home runs in 411 plate appearances, but adding Santana would give the Giants an outfielder with a reliable track record in the event that Yastrzemski regresses.
Yastrzemski could also wind up seeing plenty of time in center field, so adding a corner outfielder would not impact his playing time.
Lastly, Santana is still relatively young at 27 years of age. As the Giants enter a rebuild, the outfielder fits the age range in which the Giants should be looking to fill their needs in both the short-term and medium-term.
Rebuilds typically end as the team builds its roster over time, and this could be one of those moves.