(CLEVELAND) — The Cleveland Indians are taking the necessary steps to build a strong core of young players for the future. The team has given catcher Carlos Santana a five-year extension worth $21 million. The deal also includes a club option for 2017.
The recently turned 26-year old Santana has established himself as one of the better offensive catchers in Major League Baseball. He was acquired by the team in a trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for third baseman Casey Blake.
In his first full season at the Major League level, Santana hit .239 with 27 home runs and 79 runs batted in. He was just one of four players who hit 25 home runs with 35 doubles and 90 walks last season, joining Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and Joey Votto.
Santana is the second player the Indians have given an extension to this season. The team recently signed shortstop Asdrubel Cabrera to a contract extension as well.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN