Kansas City Royals: Carlos Santana deal backs up Dayton Moore’s words

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 23: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run off Lucas Giolito #27 of the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Progressive Field on September 23, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 23: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run off Lucas Giolito #27 of the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Progressive Field on September 23, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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The Kansas City Royals are actually spending some money this offseason.

Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore is backing up his words with actions in the early going of the 2020-2021 offseason, saying “We’ll make moves this offseason. And we’re going to be better, a better baseball team, once we report to spring training.”

As first reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Kansas City Royals signed a familiar name in first baseman Carlos Santana on Tuesday afternoon. The deal is a two-year contract worth $17.5 million, plus incentives, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

It’s the second notable contract given out by the Royals over the last few days, with starting pitcher Mike Minor signing a two-year deal worth $19 million in guaranteed money (and an option for 2023).

More Royals. Message sent to roster with Santana. light

Kansas City has also brought in outfielder Michael A. Taylor, which isn’t a signing that’s going to move any needles, but he will provide outfield depth and it’s more than what most teams have done in free agency, up to this point.

The Kansas City Royals are still going to be a team that struggles to reach the playoffs in 2021, even with an expanded playoff field, but Dayton Moore is giving Royals fans an improved product on the field to watch over what is, hopefully, a full season next year.

It’s a welcoming sight as teams like the Cleveland Indians slash payroll and bail on paying a top-flight closer a modest $10 million salary, and teams like the Baltimore Orioles continue their tank by rolling out a lineup of waiver claims and expect fans to be content with watching an infield of Yolmer Sanchez and Rio Ruiz for 162 games.

As for Carlos Santana, he’s approaching his age-35 season, but has been a consistent middle-of-the-order bat since making his MLB debut in 2010.

In 60 games for Cleveland last season, Santana slashed .199/.349/.350 with eight home runs and wRC+ of 95. It was the first time in Santana’s career in which he ended a season with a wRC+ below 100.

Despite his dip in production, which was likely a mixture of a small sample blip and a bit of aging, Santana still produced an 18% walk rate and showcased his impressive ability to get on base.

Santana may not move the needle for the Kansas City Royals and Mike Minor isn’t going to lead a starting rotation into the playoffs, but they are good early offseason moves for Kansas City and they do improve the product fans will see on a nightly basis.

As of December 8th, the Kansas City Royals have spent more on free agents than any other team in baseball and with a need for a bullpen arm or two, their spending may not be done yet.

Next. Royals should use Mike Minor in bullpen. dark

It turns out, even smaller market teams CAN spend some cash in this economy. Huh.