The MLB trade deadline has come and gone and the Brewers were mostly quiet. Could they pivot and add recently DFA’d Domingo Santana?
On Monday, the Cleveland Indians announced that they would be parting ways with former Brewers outfielder Domingo Santana, designating him for assignment. They had recently acquired OF Josh Naylor, C Austin Hedges, and RHP Cal Quantrill, among others, from the San Diego Padres, so there needed to be some adjustments to the roster in order to make room for these new players.
The 28-year-old joined the Indians last winter on a $1.5M contract and hadn’t been performing to his greatest abilities. Before his DFA, Santana had posted a slash line of .157/.298/.286 with two home-runs in 84 plate appearances. Though his contract included the club option in 2021, the Indians wanted nothing to do with that and decided to let him go.
Domingo Santana broke out with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017 when he was an overall offensive force, posting a slashline of .278/.371/.505, hitting 30 homers, stealing 15 bases, driving in 85, and walking 73 times.
His 2018 season looked pretty promising for the Brewers. However, he began to struggle, only hitting .249/.313/.354 by the end of June, a big dip in production from the previous year. That was when we saw Santana get optioned to Triple-A to fix his struggles at the plate.
With the continued success of Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and the addition of Mike Moustakas, little room remained for Santana to get at bats. It had become clear that Milwaukee was looking for players that could make solid contact with the ball and weren’t big strikeout players.
He was traded in December of 2018 in exchange for Seattle Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel and minor-league pitcher Noah Zavolas. Once Santana went to Seattle, he showed that he was still an effective offensive player, slashing .278/.348/.499 through the end of June. That was until a right elbow injury would hinder his performance and put him in a slump for the rest of the season.
Bringing Santana back could potentially add another big bat into an outfield that could use one. When you take a look at Santana’s stats it might not seem pretty, but his we’ve seen his potential once before and it’s better than any of Milwaukee’s current backup outfield options.
There is hope that Santana could very well bounce back and be the 2017 version of himself. He is only 28 years old so he has plenty of time to figure things out again. It might be difficult to figure out a place for Domingo Santana to get regular at bats, but it never hurts to have an outfielder with power potential on the bench.
With less than 30 games remaining in the season, the Brewers might not have time to wait and see if Santana still has it in him. But if they think he can somehow bring the 2017-level consistency back, he could be a sneaky good addition for the team.