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Pirates sign Carlos Santana to one-year deal

Ben Cherington must REALLY be feeling the tryptophan from his Thanksgiving turkey.

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not a holiday weekend without a front office move by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

According to ESPN insider Jeff Passan, the Bucs signed first baseman and designated hitter Carlos Santana to a one-year deal worth $6.7 million, pending a physical.

Passan added that the switch-hitting power hitter put up “league-average” statistics last year despite an expected wOBA — weighted On-Base Average — of .352. On the surface, Santana hit .202 combined with the Kansas City Royals and playoff underdog Seattle Mariners.

In addition, he hit 19 home runs and 88 RBIs last year.

For those wondering why the Pirates opted to sign Santana, Passan also mentions that Santana had prior ties to current manager Derek Shelton back in the mid-2000s when the latter was a hitting coach in the Cleveland Guardians, formerly Indians, organization.

Santana offers a decent power platoon with the newly-acquired Ji-man Choi, especially with the banning of the shift in 2023. Additionally, Santana ranked in the 97th percentile in walk percentage last season, according to Baseball Savant.

In fact, the only areas he graded poorly in were arm strength and sprint speed.

Another good thing is that this allows Pirates fans to breathe easily knowing they will not have a platoon of Choi and Lewin Diaz to start the season.