Blue Jays: Could former Indians brain trust bring Carlos Santana to Toronto?

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 15: First baseman Carlos Santana
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 15: First baseman Carlos Santana /

Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana will test free agency this offseason after earning $12 million last season in the final year of his pact with the Indians. Could Santana find a new home north of the border before Opening Day in 2018? Here’s why it could happen.

Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro was the Cleveland Indians General Manager for nearly a decade from 2001 through to 2010, one of his most memorable acquisitions was obtaining a young Carlos Santana from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Casey Blake. Could a reunion be in the cards?

In order for the Blue Jays to make the pieces fit they would have to ship either one of Kendrys Morales or Justin Smoak out of town. The most logical choice would be Morales, however, Smoak would be the easier of the two to deal and the one who would garner the best return.

Santana would be an upgrade over Morales and would provide positional flexibility as he and Smoak could both spell one another off between first base and the DH spot, Santana can also play the outfield in a pinch and is also a switch hitter. Although Santana saw his power dip in 2017 he is still a tough out and walks more frequently than anyone on the Blue Jays current roster.

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In 8 seasons the 31-year old has accumulated a 24.5 WAR, has 21 postseason games under his belt and was nominated for a Gold Glove this season.

Morales is owed $23 million over the next two seasons but did connect for 28 round trippers last season. Teams like the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Kansas City Royals all ranked near the bottom in team home runs last season and could benefit from a middle of the order bat albeit one with no defensive position.

The Red Sox already have a one-dimensional DH in Hanley Ramirez, however, a team like the Royals might be interested in a reunion with Morales especially seeing they may lose Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain to free agency this offseason.  Morales spent the last two seasons with Kansas City before signing with the Jays last offseason.

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The Indians landed the Blue Jays big free agent last season in Edwin Encarnacion so maybe it’s the Blue Jays turn to return the favour. The Jays brain trust definitely knows the value Santana can bring to this team first hand. The question is can they jockey the lineup to make it feasible?