Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners 2021-2022
With Santana coming off a tough season, a small market team decided to take a chance on him. The Kansas City Royals would give Santana a 2-year deal worth $17.5 million. Of course, the Royals were in the midst of a rebuild when they signed him, so it was obvious they were looking to get him to bounce back and flip him.
That is exactly what would happen, sort of. Santana stayed with Kansas City for the entirety of the 2021 season. He posted a .214 batting average with 19 home runs on the year. Obviously not the bounce back that the Royals had hoped for. Still, the Royals were able to hold onto him into the 2022 season. After 52 games with the Royals, Santana would be traded back to Seattle. Seattle would send a couple of pitchers back in the deal.
The Mariners kept Santana around this time as he would appear in 79 total games with the M’s. They also had him on their post-season roster this past fall. For the 2022 season, Santana still only batted .202 but did put up 19 home runs.
Now Santana is a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It will be interesting to see if he bounces back this year with the extreme shift being banned. Also, having a short porch in left field and a platoon mate in Ji-Man Choi could lead to better overall numbers. At the very least, the Bucs should have better production from first base and the designated hitter spot thus far.