Santana, Moore highlight MLB moves
Carlos Santana is bringing his big bat and postseason experience to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 31-year-old first baseman became the first of the offseason's big-name free agents to find a new home, agreeing Friday to a $60 million, three-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to two people familiar with the deal.
Around the league, left-hander Matt Moore was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Texas Rangers for minor league right-handers Israel Cruz and Sam Wolff, while All-Star infielder Zack Cozart agreed to a $38 million, three-year contract with the Angels, also agreeing to play third base in an infield suddenly packed with veteran talent.
Santana became the first to reach a deal among the nine free agents who last month rejected $17.4 million qualifying offers from their former teams.
Philadelphia also traded shortstop Freddy Galvis to San Diego for minor league pitcher Enyel De Los Santos, and finalized two-year deals with relievers Tommy Hunter ($18 million) and Pat Neshek ($16.25 million).
Santana hit 23 home runs with 79 RBIs for Cleveland, where he spent all eight of his big league seasons. He started as a catcher in 2010 and shifted to first base in 2015.
Santana, who has a .249 career batting average and .445 slugging percentage, is expected to play first base for Philadelphia. Slugger Rhys Hoskins would stay in left field, giving the Phillies a surplus of outfielders to use as trade bait for starting pitching.
Galvis was a finalist for a Gold Glove the past two seasons and hit a career-best 20 homers in 2016. He was the longest-tenured Phillies player. The 28-year-old switch hitter averaged 13 homers, 59 RBIs and 14 steals along with a .253 average over the past three years.
Meanwhile, Texas also received $750,000 in international signing bonus pool allotment from the Giants as part of the Moore trade announced Friday.
San Francisco last month exercised Moore's $7 million option for 2018. He went 6-15 with a 5.52 ERA in 174 1/3 innings last season, setting a career high for losses, as the Giants finished last in the NL West. He allowed a career-worst 107 earned runs.
He joins a rotation with two other lefties in 13-game winner Martin Perez and Cole Hamels, who won 11 games this year. Right-hander Andrew Cashner, another 11-game winner, became a free agent after completing a $10 million, one-year deal with Texas.
Texas went 78-84 and finished third in the AL West behind the World Series champion Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels.
San Francisco acquired Moore at the 2016 trade deadline from Tampa Bay for third baseman Matt Duffy. The lefty's best season came in 2013, when he was 17-4 with the Rays.
After spending his entire career at shortstop in Cincinnati, Cozart was willing to switch positions for the chance to join the Los Angeles Angels' promising lineup.
Cozart was even willing to switch twice.
"It's just going to be a fun team to be around," Cozart said. "(Left fielder Justin) Upton is already texting me. From what I hear about the clubhouse, it seems like it's my type of team, a bunch of good grinder guys that want to get after it and win."
Cozart gets $13,666,666 next season and $13,666,667 in each of the final two years of the deal.
With Gold Glove winner Andrelton Simmons already at shortstop, Angels general manager Billy Eppler initially was interested in signing Cozart to play second base. The free agent said he was amenable to that move, but then Eppler managed to swing a trade to acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler from Detroit on Wednesday.
The Angels maintained their pursuit of Cozart, but now to be their third baseman.