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Woodward likes Santana as versatile force

'I feel comfortable with him anywhere,' manager says of 28-HR hitter
@Sullivan_Ranger
September 29, 2019

ARLINGTON -- At some point in October, the Rangers will have organizational meetings and one question is certain to come up. What are the Rangers going to do with Danny Santana? "Whatever we want," manager Chris Woodward said Sunday. The issue is if the Rangers need to anchor him at

ARLINGTON -- At some point in October, the Rangers will have organizational meetings and one question is certain to come up.

What are the Rangers going to do with Danny Santana?

"Whatever we want," manager Chris Woodward said Sunday.

The issue is if the Rangers need to anchor him at one position.

"I don't think so," Woodward said. "The beautiful thing is he likes to play everywhere. He doesn't feel the need to play one position. Would I prefer him to play one position? I'm kind of on the fence with that depending on what our roster looks like.

"If our roster looks like he needs to play one position, then I'll probably want him to play one position. I kind of like the idea of him moving around depending on what our roster looks like and allows for it."

So how does Santana feel about that?

"Every player wants to have a position," said Santana, 28. "I feel fine with the way I've been used. I feel comfortable at a lot of different positions."

Santana has started at seven positions this season, with the exception of catcher and pitcher. None were token appearances. His six starts at shortstop were the fewest at any position, and the Rangers gave him eight starts at third base to see if that was a possibility for next season.

The answer is Santana is not likely to be their everyday third baseman even though that's their most pressing need after starting pitching.

"I don't think third base is his best spot in the infield," Woodward said. "He is better suited in the middle."

The Rangers are set in the middle with Elvis Andrus at shortstop and Rougned Odor at second base. Santana started 42 games at first base, his most at any position, but that was out of sheer necessity. That's not Santana's favorite position.

Center field is a possibility depending on what the Rangers do with Delino DeShields. The Rangers still like DeShields, but Woodward made it clear that he will have to earn the spot next year. If not, Santana could find himself as the everyday center fielder next season.

"He has a ton of options," Woodward said. "I feel comfortable with him anywhere."

Rangers beat
• Odor was selected as the Rangers Player of the Month for September. He hit .261 with nine home runs, 25 RBIs and a .648 slugging percentage in 24 games.

• The Rangers paid tribute to Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia during Sunday's game. Sabathia is retiring at the end of the postseason. He was 12-6 with a 5.19 ERA in 24 career starts against the Rangers.

• Santana had two stolen bases on Saturday night, giving him 21 for the season along with his 28 home runs. It's the 10th time a player has had a 20/20 season in Rangers history.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.