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
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.
Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: The Colorado Rockies.
The Big Question: Will they make us all look like suckers again?
Maybe it’s just me who has looked like a sucker. For the past two years I’ve picked the Rockies, seeing something in them — as I sit here right now, I don’t know what — that made me think they had what it took to win the division. Maybe easily. Was I simply blind to what the Giants were able to do in 2010 and the Diamondbacks last year, or did the Rockies just give off some kind of spark that misled me so? Maybe both. I don’t think a ton of people picked Arizona last season — maybe no one did — and I’ll grant that there is something about a stud shortstop being a team’s best player that always draws me in.
So recently I got it in my mind that I wasn’t going to be fooled again. I was going to ignore the fact that in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez the Rockies had two of the most exciting players in the game. I was going to ignore the fact that Dexter Fowler could break out at any time. I was going to ignore the fact that, in the NL West, you don’t have to win 95 games to win it all and that the Rockies, even when they have disappointed, have made a habit of going on exciting, Rocktobery runs. If they keep it close and stay healthy …. no, I can’t do it. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, hey would you like my credit card number Mr. Nigerian Prince’s Special Attache for Financial Affairs?
What else is going on?
- The rotation has all kinds of ifs. But unlike past Rockies rotations — which always seem to have ifs — there is some sharp upside here. Losing Jorge De La Rosa to Tommy John surgery was a bummer, but Jhoulys Chacin has shown flashes of ace-like talent. And call me crazy — “you’re crazy!” — but I sort of feel like Jeremy Guthrie may find some juvenation in the NL West. Sure, Coors Field is death to pitchers, but is it much worse than facing the Yankees and the Red Sox all the time?
- Oh, and Jamie Moyer may very well make the rotation, and that’s all kinds of fun. I hope to get to a Rockies game this year so I can meet him and ask him what FDR was really like.
- Moyer isn’t the only gray hair Dan O’Dowd brought in. Veterans Marco Scutaro, Michael Cuddyer, Ramon Hernandez and Casey Blake were added in the offseason. Blake was released the other day, but all of these additions show that the Rockies themselves aren’t all that confident in many players under 30 not named Gonzalez or Tulowitzki.
- Seeing Juan Nicasio come back is heart warming. He took a line drive that broke one of his vertebrae last August. He’s been pretty impressive this spring.
So how are they gonna do?
I want to believe. I want to believe that all of my optimistic assumptions about pitching will come true (Moyer throws 200 innings!) and that guys like Cuddyer will come in and thump due to the thin air. But there are so many ifs with this team. And, as we’ve seen for the past couple of years, the Rockies have a great capacity to disappoint.
Maybe I’m wrong again and me picking them to finish third will look silly come fall. But I’m pickin’ ’em third anyway.
Casey Blake talked about possibly retiring following September neck surgery, but instead signed a non-guaranteed one-year deal with the Rockies and entered spring training atop the third base depth chart.
Today the Rockies released Blake after the 37-year-old went just 3-for-20 with seven strikeouts while showing signs of not being fully healthy.
This may be the end of the line for Blake, who went from career minor leaguer to quality regular for the Indians and Dodgers despite not getting an extended chance in the majors until age 29. He hit just .252 with a .713 OPS in 63 games in between disabled list stints last season and had similarly mediocre production in 2010.
Blake would have earned $2 million for making the Opening Day roster, but instead Colorado will go with rookies Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson at third base until 21-year-old stud prospect Nolan Arenado is ready.