CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians have declined contract options on Brad Hand, first baseman Carlos Santana and outfielder Domingo Santana for next season, moves that cut $30.75 million from the team’s projected 2021 payroll.
The club exercised its $5.5 million option for catcher Roberto Perez, who has been exemplary in handling one of the American League’s best pitching staffs.
Hand’s option was worth $10 million, Carlos Santana’s was for $17.5 million and Domingo Santana’s $5 million for next season. The team will pay buyouts of $1 million to Hand, $500,000 to Carlos Santana and $250,000 to Domingo Santana. All three become free agents.
Cleveland had placed Hand on outright waivers Thursday, hoping another team might claim him so it could avoid the buyout.
Indians president Chris Antonetti had pointed toward a substantial cut in payroll earlier this month due to the team’s financial hit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. MLB teams were not permitted to have fans at game in 2020.
Hand was acquired by the San Diego Padres at the trading deadline in 2018. In two-plus seasons with Cleveland, he had 58 saves and a 2.78 ERA in 111 games. The left-hander went 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA and went 16-for-16 in save chances during the 2020 regular season.
Carlos Santana struggled in his second season back in Cleveland after leaving as a free agent in 2018. The switch-hitter batted a career-low .199 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 60 games.