Best Fit: Texas Rangers
Carlos Santana regressed in 2012, but his regression wasn't as severe as many made it out to be. His home run total did drop from 27 to 18, and his slugging percentage did take a dive, but he improved his batting average and his on-base percentage, and he was even solid on defense.
Per FanGraphs, Santana rated as a decent defensive catcher even despite his troubles with passed balls, and he also held his own defensively at first base.
Santana may not be able to remain an everyday catcher going forward, but it looks like he could make for a good catcher/first baseman hybrid player, a la Joe Mauer (nowadays) and Mike Napoli.
Speaking of Napoli, he's a free agent and he may prove to be too pricey for the Rangers. He'll get paid but probably not by a Rangers team that watched him struggle at the plate and with his health in 2012.
If the Rangers were to trade for Santana, he could step right in and effectively fill Napoli's shoes. He'd spend most of his time behind the plate in the crouch but would get spot starts at first base and at DH.
And, of course, he'd give their lineup some pop. They've had plenty of it in recent years, but they'll suddenly have a shortage of power if both Napoli and Josh Hamilton walk as free agents.
Santana is likely to be the toughest to acquire of Cleveland's six key trade chips, as powerful catchers with high upsides just don't come around that often. To boot, Santana signed a contract with the Indians that is good though 2016 with an option for 2017. They're not going to let him go unless they get a very impressive package of prospects.
The Rangers are the right team to ask for an impressive package of prospects. It's hard to see them parting with Jurickson Profar or Mike Olt, but Martin Perez or Cody Buckel could go.
A deal could also be based around 19-year-old catcher Jorge Alfaro. He's one of Texas' top prospects, but it wouldn't do the Rangers much good just to wait for him to arrive seeing as how they need to win now, and Alfaro is several years away from being ready.
The Rangers have been protective of their top prospects, but they could make an exception to acquire a young catcher of Santana's talent.
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