The Red Sox have signed utilityman Danny Santana to a minor-league deal with an invite to major-league spring training, according to The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams.
Santana, 30, had worked out for teams in Miami this month and the Red Sox were obviously among the teams who were interested.
The Dominican native became a free-agent this winter after getting non-tendered by the Rangers — who he had spent the last two seasons with — in December.
In his time with Texas, Santana truly experienced the ups-and-downs of being a major-leaguer.
Across 130 games in 2019, he slashed .283/.324/.534 to go along with a career-best 28 home runs and 81 RBI over a career-high 511 plate appearances en route to being named the Rangers’ player of the year.
Following up that successful campaign, Santana fell back down to earth in 2020, as he appeared in just 15 games and posted a .511 OPS before going down with a season-ending right elbow sprain in late August.
Rather than pay Santana the $3.6 million he was projected to earn in his final year of salary arbitration, the Rangers cut the veteran switch-hitter loose over the winter.
Originally signed by the Twins as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Santana has proven capable of playing multiple defensive positions since making his big-league debut in 2014.
With the Rangers alone, the 5-foot-11, 195 pounder played 53 games at first base, 17 at second base, eight at third base, nine at shortstop, 17 in left field, 31 in center field, and 15 in right field.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman was the first to report that the Red Sox were ‘in the final mix’ for Santana’s services.
As Heyman notes, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom clearly values versatility given the fact he has brought in the likes of Santana, Enrique Hernandez, and Marwin Gonzalez this offseason.
Heyman also tweeted that Santana’s deal with Boston consists of $1.75 million in a base salary, $1 million in potential incentives, a $100,000 bonus if he starts the year in Triple-A, and an opt out if he is not promoted by a certain date.
With the addition of Santana, Boston will now have approximately 34 non-roster invitees at camp, which pushes the size of their major-league spring training roster to 74 players. The maximum number of players teams can carry this spring is 75.
That means that the club will have to clear at least one spot on their spring training roster when catcher Kevin Plawecki and outfielder Franchy Cordero are ready to be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list.
(Picture of Danny Santana: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)