The Milwaukee Brewers have a massive need at first base and they appear to have a target in mind. It's a familiar face.
According to Fansided MLB Insider Robert Murray, Carlos Santana and the Brewers have had conversations about a reunion. It's unclear at this point how far talks have progressed, but the two sides are talking.
Murray continued with a separate report that Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames are expected to remain with the Brewers in 2024 and they are unlikely to be traded.
A reunion with Carlos Santana may be in the works for the Milwaukee Brewers
Santana put up good numbers after coming over from the Pirates at the Trade Deadline last year, slugging 11 homers with a .773 OPS. The veteran switch-hitter would be an excellent choice to keep in the lineup to avoid needing any platoon situations at the position while also bringing experience and leadership to a very young Brewers clubhouse.
The Brewers do have some competition, though. Jon Heyman reports that the Seattle Mariners and the Pittsburgh Pirates are showing interest in Santana as well. Santana has played for each of those teams previously. The Pirates have already signed Rowdy Tellez, so putting those two players back on the same team would be a tough blow to Tellez since he already lost his job in Milwaukee to Santana once.
The current first base depth chart for Milwaukee has just Jake Bauers and Owen Miller on it. It's the biggest need on the Brewers roster right now.
Still, there are several first basemen on the free agent market. Rhys Hoskins, Justin Turner, Garrett Cooper, CJ Cron, Brandon Belt, and Joey Votto are among the names available alongside Santana. Milwaukee's familiarity with Santana could be a major factor in both his interest in returning and the team's interest in bringing him back.
It's likely the Brewers are looking just for one-year stopgaps for first base, which is another reason why the 38 year old Santana is a fit. He can still hit and bring some power to the lineup. He won't be expecting multi-year contracts at this point in his career and is comfortable going year to year. The Brewers have several corner infielders quickly working through the minor league system. Tyler Black will make his debut in 2024 and he could play first base, 2023 first round pick Brock Wilken is another corner infielder that could move quickly as is 2nd rounder Mike Boeve. There's also Ernesto Martinez who had a solid year in Double-A.
The Brewers have first basemen in the system, but none that are ready for a starting role in 2024. A reunion with Carlos Santana, a great clubhouse presence and role model for young players, might just be the perfect fit for Milwaukee. It's not a done deal, but the two sides have interest in a reunion and there's a very good chance a deal gets done.