Last week, the Cleveland Indians extended a $17.4 million qualifying offer to Carlos Santana.
However, the free agent first baseman will instead test the market.
In a move that was expected, Santana has turned down the Indians' qualifying offer. MLB.com's Tribe reporter Jordan Bastian confirmed the news via Twitter, and the club later re-tweeted the post. He stressed that it does not mean the first baseman will not re-sign with Cleveland, but should he leave, the team would get a compensatory draft pick.
Free-agent 1B Carlos Santana has officially declined the Indians' one-year, $17.4-million Qualifying Offer. Doesn't end talks between the sides. Just helps Cleveland net a Draft pick in the event that he signs with a new team.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 16, 2017
The 31-year-old already seems to have no shortage of suitors: According to The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, the Boston Red Sox plan on meeting with Santana at baseball's GM meetings later this week. Santana has also drawn interest from the Seattle Mariners, per MLB Network's Jon Morosi.
Of course, the Indians likely won't let Santana leave without a fight and could try to ink the eight-year veteran to a long-term deal in lieu of his qualifying offer. But should Santana walk, Cleveland could allocate its resources toward re-signing outfielder Jay Bruce.
In eight seasons with the Indians, Santana has hit for a career average of .249 to go along with 174 home runs and 587 runs batted in. Last season, he batted for .259, 23 home runs and 79 RBIs in 154 games in addition to being named a finalist for the American League Gold Glove at first base.
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