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Details of Carlos Santana’s long-term contract with Indians

Apr 10, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians' catcher Carlos Santana waits for his turn at bat during their MLB spring training baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Scottsdale Reuters

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
2012: $501,900
2013: $550,000
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.

  1. Lukehart80 - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    I love this deal. If the Indians can’t put out a $100M+ payroll, they’ve got to take minor risks like this to go after for the potential windfall of excess value they could get from Santana over the life of this contract. This covers what ought to be the prime years of his career, as Santana will be 31 years old for that option season. It’s a win win situation, as Santana is now set for life. The 1-3 start is no fun, but today is a good day to be an Indians fan.

  2. Utley's Hair - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    But how much does he get in 2117?

    • Lukehart80 - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      It’s a $1 billion option, but I doubt the team will pick it up.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        Damn those backloaded contracts—they’re always so team friendly.

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