The Philadelphia Phillies took a highly unusual strategy into this off-season. After losing 96 games and posting a meager .315 on-base percentage, they decided to aggressively pursue a free agent to help them improve.
For three years and $60 million, Carlos Santana, a switch-hitting first baseman, left the Cleveland Indians to join the Phillies. The Phillies made contact on the first day of free agency in November, negotiated seriously at the winter meetings a few weeks later, and held a news conference to introduce Santana on Dec. 20.
“Santana is a player we had admired for a long time,” Matt Klentak, the Phillies’ general manager, said on Friday.