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It’s been quite some time since the Philadelphia Phillies have been known as giants in their field.

For the last number of years, the lack of a proven slugger in the prime of their career has hurt the team significantly.Carlos Santana: The Phillies' Biggest Offseason Signing. Photo: bostonherald.com

However, that is all about to change with their latest acquisition; first baseman Carlos Santana.

Having recently signed a three-year, $60 million contract, Santana joins the Phillies from the Indians after declining their $17.4 million qualifying offer in November. Needless to say, the Tribe’s loss is the Phillies’ gain.

Santana’s power might be attributed to his offseason workouts. A few weeks after the signing, he was proud to show his rather unusual display of strength online. Yes, he actually pushed a car up a slight hill.

Character

 

The letter Santana wrote to the Indians, the city of Cleveland, and its fans is a testament to his character. This sentiment was recently reinforced by Chris Antonetti, the Indians’ president of baseball operations.

 

"I think Carlos deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his maturation and his development as a leader and professional," Antonetti said. "Maybe he was a little underappreciated in his time here and all he contributed. 

 

"He's a guy who came over as a very young player in a trade. He was catching at the time we got him. He came to the major leagues as an offensive-minded catcher. He put in a ton of work to grow, mature and evolve into a catcher. Once Yan (Gomes) emerged and moved ahead of Carlos, he enthusiastically changed positions for the betterment of the team whether that was going to third base or first base.

 

 "He was a staple in our lineup, team and organization for the last seven or eight years. We appreciate all the contributions he made not only to the team, but the organization and the broader Cleveland community." 

 

 In addition to his great character, he’s got one of the most unique nicknames a ballplayer can have: Slamtana. 

 

Career  

During the course of his eight-year career, Santana’s played only nine games against the Phillies, so Philly fans might not be entirely familiar with him—but his penchant for patience at the plate (including two 100-walk seasons) in addition to his home run prowess power and impressive on-base percentage can hopefully rub off on youngsters Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro and some of the other Phillies youth. Santana’s final overall numbers in Cleveland speak for itself: 1116 games played, 995 hits, 236 doubles, 174 homers, 587 RBIs, 726 walks, .365 OBP, three postseason appearances. It goes without saying that Phillies’ manager Gabe Kapler’s job will be made easier having someone like Santana he can count on for 20–30 homers a year.

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That’s not all, Santana has been known to create an ambiance of fun and laughter that endears him to his teammates and managers. How that will go in a Kapler-managed clubhouse remains to be seen, but a relaxed atmosphere seems to work best these days, as opposed to the old school baseball mentality. While it’s hard for the Indians to lose him, the Phillies’ lineup got great boost of power. He’ll be a nice addition to a team not quite on the doorsteps of contention, but could be close if they build on their impressive second half on 2017.  


So, welcome to the Phillies Slamtana. Whether you’re pushing cars up hills or keeping your team loose, carry a big stick and it should be a fun couple of years with him hitting at Citizens Bank Park.