Just prior to the Opening Day, the Indians signed short stop Asdrubal Cabrera through the 2014 season and today the Indians have extended catcher Carlos Santana through 2016 with an option for 2017. Santana's contract is worth a total of $21 million which could end up being a steal if he continues to improve the way he is projected to. The Tribe already had Santana under control through 2016, but by guaranteeing him money now, they will end up paying a lot less then they probably would have to through the arbitration years. As it is the highest single season payout for Santana would be his 2017 option of $12 million.
This deal is similar to the one Grady Sizemore signed in 2006 as it involves a very young player through his first year or two of free agency. As always with a long-term contract there is some risk, but in this case that risk is small, especially considering that the entire contract is valued at less than a single season of Prince Fielder. For those who may be of the mind that the Sizemore deal was a mistake or failure, realize that for the $23 million total value of his contract he played in almost 700 games and hit 113 home runs with 475 runs scored and 110 steals. He could have played two seasons at that rate and been a steal, but he played four great seasons and two subpar. If Santana can produce what he did last year every year for the length of his contract, he will have earned every penny of it.