Could the St. Louis Cardinals look at Danny Santana?
Even though the St. Louis Cardinals say they are not going to add any other free agents on major-league contracts, they continue to explore the market for non-roster invitees. Specifically, they are looking for infielders who most likely have the ability to play second base with Kolten Wong now playing with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cardinals have not been linked to any specific names, though they have been connected to Eric Sogard, Joe Panik and Brad Miller. Of the three, only Sogard remains a free agent as Panik and Miller have deals in place with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively. And it does not appear that the Cardinals have interest in Jedd Gyorko, one of the top remaining free-agent infielders, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Instead, Goold says that “(Danny) Santana is a fit, and that’s the kind of player that continues to be mentioned around the Cardinals.”
Santana, 30, was non-tendered by the Texas Rangers and is likely to miss the start of the season after undergoing elbow surgery. He had a strong season in 2019, hitting .283/.324/.534 with 28 home runs and 81 RBI, but regressed significantly in .145/.238/.273 with one home run and seven RBI last season. If a team is confident in his medicals, and believes he can return close to his ‘19 form, he would be a strong option on a NRI deal.
What adds to the appeal of Santana, too, is his defensive versatility. He can play first base, shortstop and in the outfield. Perhaps his inability to play second base — or his lack of experience at the position — could be a deal breaker for the Cardinals. But if they were to add him when he becomes 100 percent healthy, there would be few ways to find fault with the move.