Tribenomics: Carlos Santana

17 05 2010

In a previous blog post, I identified, “where is Carlos Santana,” as one of the biggest question on any Tribe fans mind. Well fans, he’s coming.

Wait... This is the wrong Carlos Santana. Nvm.

No, I’m not an insider and have no tips from Shapiro or Carlos himself about an impending call-up, but I don’t need to be. This isn’t a baseball question, instead, like most things in life, it’s an economics question.

Let me explain.

Carlos is MASHING in Columbus. Through 35 games, he stat line is a mouth watering:

.317 AVG, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 3 SB, 23 Ks to 23 BBs, .438 OBP, .542 SLG

There is no reason to think this is just a hot start; last year at Akron, Santana put up an All-Star line:

.290 AVG, 23 HR, 97 RBI, 2 SB, 83 Ks to 90 BBs, .413 OBP, .530 SLG

So what’s holding Santana back? At 24, he isn’t too young. Is it the competition?

Lou Marson: .200 AVG, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 SB, 21 Ks, 7 BBs, .277 OBP, .253 SLG

Mike Redmond: .250 AVG, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, 6 Ks, 2 BBs, .308 OBP, .361 SLG

That’s an emphatic NO. Is it his defense? Well, his defense isn’t stellar yet, but coaches say he has made strides in the last year and a half. Besides, defense didn’t keep the Tribe from throwing Victor Martinez behind the plate. No my friends, he isn’t up because of the nuances of MLB arbitration.

The MLB rule on arbitration is as follows: “Players who have at least three years, but fewer than six, of Major League service time, are eligible to file for arbitration.” Seemingly, this rule has nothing to do with rookies, it’s a way to compensate young veterans in the MLB playing on rookie contracts. Well, there is a loop hole called “Super 2 Players.”

“Super 2s” are the top 17 percent of players, based on service time, with at least two but fewer than three years of service. The rule states that a player must have at least 86 days of service in the immediately preceding season to qualify for this status. Typically, the cut-off for the top 17 percent has been around two years, 130 days of total service, though the days fluctuate from year to year.

So, the reason Carlos Santana hasn’t been mashing for the Tribe this season, is to avoid making him a Super 2 player. Should we hang Shapiro for holding back on us? Maybe not. If Carlos was already in the bigs and playing like we all want him to (Pujols behind the plate… we can dream), then he would be up for a big pay day as early as the end of 2012. How big?

Well, Ryan Howard was awarded 10$ million in his first bid for arbitration and Tim Lincecum was likely to get the 13$ million he asked for that forced the Giants to sign him to an extension. Do you think the Dolans are doling out that kind of money? I didn’t think so.

Now, I’m tired of seeing Tribe stars leave town due to financial restraints, so in this situation I am going to give Shapiro a pat on the back. But, back to the issue at hand, Carlos is coming.


Typically, the Super 2 cutoff date is middle May. A look back to 2007 will show you what I’m talking about. Tim Lincecum was called up May 7; Mark Reynolds May 16; and Ryan Braun May 25th. Lincecum was the only player in that class to be eligible for Super 2, the cut off date was May 14.

So, as the second half of May rolls around, start lining up tickets and getting excited again Tribe fans. Carlos Santana is about to shake his financial constraints and get his shot in the Show. With the way the Tribe is playing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him by the end of the month. At the latest, we are looking at an All-Star break call up just because it’s an easy time to deal with the logistics and give the kid a fresh start.

But, one thing is for sure, The Prince is coming to Cleveland.

Tony Z

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3 responses

18 05 2010
arzupancic

Santana update: Three official at-bats over the past two days, and he’s hit three home runs. His other plate appearances have resulted in four walks and a sacrifice fly. Here’s video of Sunday’s bomb, http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/media/player/mp_tpl.jsp?w=http%3A//mfile.akamai.com/10869/wmv/mlb.download.akamai.com/10869/2010/open/mlbam/2010/05/17/mlbtv_8068709_400K.wmv&type=v_free&_mp=1

9 09 2010
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13 02 2011

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