Mariners' Trade for Carlos Santana Indicates Underdog Postseason Push

Oakland Athletics v Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics v Kansas City Royals / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Seattle Mariners made a bit of a surprise move on Monday after acquiring veteran first baseman Carlos Santana from the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals parted ways with Santana for the bargain-basement price of two RHPs, Wyatt Mills and William Fleming. Both are prospects with Fleming currently playing Single-A ball. So, the M’s got Santana for practically nothing in my eyes. Fun fact, this is the second time the Mariners have signed Santana after giving him a 10-day contract back in December of 2018. 

The Mariners are dealing with a few injuries at positions that Santana can cover, namely Ty France at first base. France was diagnosed with a Grade 2 flexor strain on Thursday and was put on the IL.

While he’s eligible to return this weekend, Santana's signing suggests he’s not ready to get back on the field.  France not only held down first base but was also one of the Mariners' few sources of power. Considering the M’s rank 26th in runs per game, every little bit helps. Apparently, this includes guys in their late 30s with less than five home runs on the season. France, meanwhile, was hitting .316 with 45 RBIs. 

Mariners Eyeing an AL Wild Card Push

So, why would the Mariners go out of their way to trade for a 36-year-old hitting .216 with four home runs?

The only logical explanation is that the Mariners still think they can make a push towards the playoffs despite sitting in fourth place in the AL West at 34-41.

This team also believes that Santana somehow can help that cause. And while Santana has been pretty ass all year long, things have begun to turn around as the weather heats up. Since the start of June, Santana is hitting .357/ .478/ .544 for the Royals thanks to several multi-hit games over the last few weeks. It’s obvious that the Mariners are hoping to latch onto that momentum and bank on Santana continuing to stay hot at least until France is back. 

While I appreciate it whenever a bad team decides to keep fighting, I don’t think this is the right move for the M’s to make.

They basically gave away two prospects for a guy to fill a very short-term need. Despite his little hot streak, Santana is as close to washed up as it gets and If I were a Settle fan, I’d be a little upset about this trade. Especially considering that it suggests the Mariners don’t have an in-house option better than a guy on the fast track towards retirement.