It wasn’t a move that turned a ton of heads, but when the Cleveland Indians decided to give Carlos Santana a five-year deal worth $21 million in April of 2012; I thought that the Indians pulled off one of the best moves in franchise history. Locking up Santana for what will likely be the “prime” of his career was a move that the Indians had to make.
Thankfully, Santana has produced under his new contract and his Indians are on pace to win 90 games in one season for the first time since 2007. You would think that an All-Star catcher on a contending team would get much more notoriety, but Santana remains somewhat unknown outside of the Midwest. With that being said, if Cleveland can sneak into the postseason, then Santana should definitely become a household name.
Santana is at that point where an impressive playoff run could significantly impact his popularity across the league. If you can remember, respect for San Francisco Giants‘ slugger Pablo Sandoval went through the roof when he caught lighting in a bottle last fall. While I’m not predicting a Sandoval-like explosion for Santana, I fully expect the Indians’ catcher to finish this season with a ton of fanfare.
How can you not love a guy who not only produces with the bat, but also commands one of the most impressive pitching staffs in MLB? Either way, look for Santana to make his mark this postseason as Cleveland fans won’t be the only ones chanting his name this fall.