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Indians sign Santana to long term extension

Indians sign Santana to long term extension
April 10, 2012
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Today the Cleveland Indians announced that they have signed catcher Carlos Santa to a five year contract extension which also includes a club option for 2017.

Last season the 26-year old Santana was the first catcher (8th batter) in franchise history to pile up at least 30 doubles, 25 home runs and 90 base on balls in season.  In 155 games last season he hit .239 with 27 HR, 79 RBI and .808 OPS. He walked 97 times (3rd in the AL) and had an on-base pct. of .351, and he set a new club record for single-season home runs (27) by a switch-hitter. 

The Indians acquired Santana from the Dodgers back in July of 2008 for third baseman Casey Blake.  In 205 Major League games he is a .244 hitter with a .363 on-base percentage, .828 OPS, 48 doubles, 2 triples, 35 home runs and 105 RBI.

The contract extension does not really extend the length of control the Indians had over Santana as he was not eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season. But with the recent change in the CBA, he was probably heading for Super 2 arbitration status this offseason and would have had four arbitration years from 2013-2016 before reaching free agency. Considering he is an All Star caliber talent and has only scratched the surface with his offensive potential, the Indians are locking in his arbitration figures and potentially buying out one free agent year with the club option for 2017.

The deal will pay him a reported $21 million over the next five years, including this season. More details on the actual contract numbers will be provided when they become available.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

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