In the first sign of things to come as the MLB trade season gets underway, the Kansas City Royals have struck a deal, sending first baseman Carlos Santana to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for two pitching prospects.
- Mariners get: 1B/DH Carlos Santana
- Royals get: RHP Wyatt Mills, RHP William Fleming
With the Royals sitting in fifth place of the AL Central at 26-45, trading Santana to the Mariners where he can help them contend for a Wild Card spot at the very least gives the 36-year-old slugger a chance to play meaningful baseball down the stretch. How are both teams impacted by the trade?
Breaking down the Carlos Santana trade for the Royals
For the Royals, playing Carlos Santana has no value in a lost year. They’re better off giving younger ballplayers more plate appearances, seeing if they can tap into some unrealized potential as they try and shape their roster for next season.
One way they plan on doing so is by calling up their third-ranked prospect in their minor-league system, first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino, a 6-foot-4, left-handed slugger.
- Carlos Santana contract: $10.5 million salary in 2022
With Santana’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, it made no sense to hold onto an aging vet in Kansas City. Plus, the chance to get a look at two pitching prospects could bring in more value down the line.
The two players they received from the Mariners, RHP Wyatt Mills, and RHP William Fleming may not make an immediate impact with the big-league club in 2022, but they both offer some long-term upside.
Mills, a 6-foot-4 pitcher with a funky delivery, is already 27 years old and has 21.1 MLB innings under his belt. He was the 23rd-ranked prospect in the Mariners’ organization prior to the trade.
William Fleming was drafted in the 11th round in 2021 and has logged 89.1 innings in the minor leagues since, striking out 86 batters, while walking 28 others. Down in A-ball for the Mariners, Fleming is expected to join Quad Cities in High-A for the Royals.
Related: MLB trades: 2022 MLB trade deadline FAQ, preview
Breaking down the Carlos Santana trade for the Mariners
The Seattle Mariners had a larger need for a first baseman after Ty France hit the Injured List with a left elbow sprain, leaving him without a timetable to return. Now adding Santana gives them a plug-and-play right-handed replacement in the lineup and in the field.
- Carlos Santana stats: .216/.349/.341/.690, 4 HR, 21 RBI in 176 AB
Santana’s line may not be that pretty, but he appears to be hitting his stride, picking it up as of late.
While Santana’s not quite France, he’s done well as of late. We’ll see if Santana can bring his hot bat to Seattle, helping fill in for France until he can make a healthy recovery.
Related: MLB power rankings 2022: Best MLB teams in New York heading into July