Details of Carlos Santana’s long-term contract with Indians

4 Comments

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has the year-by-year breakdown of Carlos Santana’s new contract with the Indians:

Signing bonus: $1 million
2012: $501,900
2013: $550,000
2014: $3.5 million
2015: $6.0 million
2016: $8.5 million
2017: $12 million option or $1.2 million buyout

That adds up to a minimum of $21.25 million for five years and a maximum of $32 million for six years. Because this season is technically included as part of the five-year contract the Indians are merely pre-paying for Santana’s arbitration eligible seasons from 2014-2016 while securing a $12 million option for his first season of free agency in 2017.

All things considered $21.25 million isn’t a ton of risk and if Santana develops as expected–he’s already one of the best catchers in baseball–they’ll save considerable money in those arbitration seasons while keeping him off the open market for an extra year in his prime.

Santana, who amazingly was acquired from the Dodgers for Casey Blake in mid-2008, has an .826 career OPS that ranks second among all catchers with at least 200 games since 2010 behind only Mike Napoli.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
Leave a comment

On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”