Texas Rangers: Danny Santana not tendered a contract
By Seth Carlson
In an unsurprising move, the Rangers cut ties with a veteran utility man.
The youth movement in Texas has begun in earnest.
In an active day on the non-tender market, the Rangers joined the fray by non-tendering a player of their own in veteran utility man Danny Santana.
Santana joined the Texas Rangers as a free agent prior to the start of the 2019 season after spending 2018 with the Atlanta Braves. He started his career with the Minnesota Twins back in 2014.
The now 30-year-old enjoyed a fruitful 2019 campaign in red, white and blue, hitting off opposing pitchers to the tune of an .857 OPS and 112 OPS+, both career highs.
The sixth-year utility man experienced a power surge in 2019, crushing 28 home runs across 511 plate appearances. He also drove in 81 runs, a remarkable feat given the Rangers’ middling lineup. Those figures all marked career highs for Santana as well.
It made sense, therefore, that the Rangers opted to bring the veteran back for a second season in Texas. Playing on just a one year-contract for an estimated $3.6 million in 2020, the deal seemed to be a bargain for a player coming off his best statistical season.
Unfortunately, Santana was unable to repeat his 2019 success during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
In 15 games played, Santana’s OPS was a mere .511 with a putrid OPS+ of 39. He also hit just one home run in 63 plate appearances, a far cry from his 2019 power surge.
A caveat in evaluating Santana’s 2020, however, is that the sample size of games played was miniscule, and especially so for him.
Additionally, Santana suffered an injury in the forearm area that required surgery in September, a factor that very likely played into the Rangers’ decision to move on from him this winter.
Regardless of Santana’s injury and poor play in 2020, the Rangers were likely to cut ties anyway as the team seeks to get younger and cut payroll heading into 2021.