FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Versatility was the buzzword for chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom throughout the winter, and manager Alex Cora has said it numerous times in Spring Training.
Now, you’re about to hear it again.
Boston has agreed with free-agent infielder/outfielder Danny Santana on a Minor League deal that includes an invite to Spring Training. The Red Sox added him to their Spring Training roster on Sunday. The agreement was first reported on Thursday.
“He’s a good player," Cora said on Sunday. "We saw what he did with the Rangers two years -- very versatile, athletic, I’m repeating myself, right [about versatile players] with the signings of position players. “We’ll see where it takes us, we’ve got to be patient with him. Obviously he’s going to be part of camp, he’s going to work out today and it’s a good addition to the organization. Switch-hitter that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. He can play multiple positions, he can run too, so glad he decided to sign with us.”
It remains to be seen when Santana will be ready for action. He underwent a right UCL repair and augmentation with an internal brace back on Sept. 9.
The 30-year-old Santana, who belted 28 homers and had an .857 OPS in 2019, can play every position except catcher.
The same is true of two free agents the Red Sox signed over the winter -- Kiké Hernández and Marwin González.
Once Santana is cleared for action, he will add another candidate for Cora.
Santana played only 15 games last season before his surgery, hitting .145 with one homer and seven RBIs.
“He’s going through his progression throwing wise. We saw him in the Dominican and then a few weeks ago in Miami and we’re comfortable where he’s at in his throwing progression,” said Cora. “Obviously he’s not a full go in that aspect but he’s building up, which is a positive for us.”
In 509 career games for the Twins, Rangers and Braves, Santana slashed .260/.299/.418 with 42 homers and 188 RBIs.
The switch-hitter is better as a left-handed hitter (.266/.304/.422) than he is from the right side (.243/.287/.407).
Santana's defensive starts have been broken down like this: 132 games in center field; 104 at shortstop; 47 in left field; 51 at first base; 20 in right field; 16 at second base; and 12 at third base.