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.