Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana, who has been working on a possible move to third base this offseason, expects that he will move to the hot corner full time in 2014, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
According to a translation of the report from Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Santana believes that he would be the starting third baseman if the season began tomorrow. It appears as though his focus is fully on playing third base in the upcoming year.
"Right now, I see myself preparing to play third base, no other position," Santana told ESPN.
Over a four year career with the Indians, Santana has played 319 of 436 games at catcher. He also played 116 games at first base and one in the outfield. Santana has played 58 games at third base in the minor leagues, when he was ranked on baseball America's prospect list as high as the No. 10 nationwide, but primarily stayed behind the plate.
However, with catching prospect Yan Gomes rapidly developing, the Indians decided to give Santana the chance to play another position. With Nick Swisher at first base and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall not performing as well as the Indians may once have hoped, where to put Santana became evident. Since the end of the 2013 season Santana has worked with team coaches and has played third base in winter ball.
For his part, general manager Mark Antonetti praised Santana while still being coy about what the team would do at third base.
"We have not made a decision at third base," Antonetti told reporters. "That’s what spring training is for. But Carlos has gotten a tremendous head start due to the work he’s put in this offseason."
Santana, 27, hit .268/.377/.455 with 20 home runs in 2013 and received MVP votes for the first time in his career. Since breaking into the big leagues in 2010, he has an 814 OPS.