Cleveland Indians: Carlos Santana declined qualifying offer

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 24: Carlos Santana
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 24: Carlos Santana /

The next step in the Cleveland Indians offseason with Carlos Santana is known.

Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana has officially declined their qualifying offer of $17.4 million dollars, according to Jordan Bastian of The deadline to make a decision on the team’s offer was Thursday and Santana will now test free agency.

It was widely expected that he would pass on the team’s qualifying offer, considering the substantial interest Santana has drawn around Major League Baseball. By extending Santana the qualifying offer, the Indians set themselves up to be compensated with a first round draft pick if Santana signs elsewhere for more than $50 million dollars.

Early indications point towards Santana clearing the $50 million dollar threshold.

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Santana is 31 years old and according to hit .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs, 79 RBI and 90 runs scored. Since 2011, Santana has the ninth best on base percentage among qualified first baseman, according to

So, what does this decision mean for Cleveland?

The Indians can continue to negotiate with Santana now that he has declined their qualifying offer. However, they are somewhat insured with the compensation of a first round pick if he walks.

The loss of Santana would be difficult to replace for the Indians. Not many posses his eye at the plate, which unlike some players, makes it easy for his skipper to pencil his name on the lineup card even when he may be slumping.

The consistent power numbers and recent emergence as an above average fielder at first base make him a valuable asset.

Tom Withers of the Associated Press tweeted earlier today that he expects Santana to re-sign in Cleveland.

However, multiple teams have shown interest. The Boston Red Sox were scheduled to meet with Santana during the General Managers meetings, which started on Monday. Meanwhile other initial suitors in consideration included the Seattle Mariners and the Indians.

More recently, the market has expanded to include up to 10 teams with interest in the switch hitting slugger. The New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers are said to be among those teams now showing interest, according to a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Eric Hosmer is seen as the best first baseman in the 2017-18 free agency class. However he could require nine figures in order to obtain his services. Santana is seen as a nice deal for many teams in comparison.

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Other first basemen on the market include, Logan Morrison, Yonder Alonso, Lucas Duda, Mike Napoli, Mark Reynolds, and Mitch Moreland. It appears that Santana may draw the largest pay-day next to Hosmer, if early indications mean anything.