CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) - With the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the 2020 World Series on Tuesday night, the Cleveland Indians were put on the clock for their decisions surrounding the future of first baseman Carlos Santana ($17.5 million), outfielder Domingo Santana ($5 million), closer Brad Hand ($10 million), and catcher Roberto Perez ($5.5 million) with all of the players' options needing to be decided. On Friday afternoon, that decision came to light.
The team declined the options of both Carlos and Domingo Santana, as well as Brad Hand, who was previously waived by the team. The team did exercise the option for Perez, keeping him with the franchise for the 2021 season.
Santana, 34, struggled in 2020, batting .199 with eight home runs and 47 walks in 60 games for the Tribe. This isn't the first time that Santana has hit free agency, as the slugger left the club in 2018 to join the Philadelphia Phillies.
Indians president Chris Antonetti talked about Santana's 2020 season in a press conference with the media on Friday: "We've seen times where Carlos [Santana] has gone through some stretches where he wasn't as productive and other stretches where he was really hot. You look up at the end of the year and his numbers are what they usually are. I'm confident Carlos [Santana] still has productive years left in front of him."
Hand, 30, was a perfect 16-16 in save opportunities in 2020, however did see a drop in his velocity in 2020. The right hander threw an average of 91.8 mph on fastballs compared to 94.8 when the club acquired him from the Padres in 2018. The reliever was also a top three finalist for reliever of the year in 2020.
Perez will look to bounce back in 2021, as the former Gold Glove award winner only played in 32 games for the Tribe in 2020. He struggled at the plate, batting .165 with just one home run in the 60 game season.
"We continue to believe that Roberto [Perez] is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, and a true leader on our team," said Antonetti. "We're excited to have him back as a key component for us, and we've seen the difference he can make when he's behind the plate and leading the pitching staff."
In addition to the club's decisions on their player options, the club announced that bench coach Brad Mills, who had opted out of the 2020 season back in July, will be stepping away from the dugout and into the front office. Mills, 63, had opted to spend more time with his family after leaving for the club's "Summer Camp" in early July.
"He'll stay in the organization in some role, and we'll work with Brad to figure out what that role might be." said Antonetti.