The Milwaukee Brewers acquired first baseman Carlos Santana from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, attempting to shore up a tepid offense as they try to hold onto first place in the National League Central.
Santana, 37, was dealt to a contender for the second consecutive season after going from Kansas City to Seattle last year. Long considered a clubhouse leader, Santana will fill in at first base for Rowdy Tellez, who, while recovering from a forearm injury, tore a fingernail on a chain-link fence while shagging batting practice.
In exchange for Santana, who is hitting .235/.321/.412 with elite defense at first base, the Pirates will receive 18-year-old shortstop Jhonny Severino, who signed with Milwaukee for $1.23 million last year and is currently playing in the Arizona Complex League.
At 57-46, the Brewers have clawed back into the NL Central pole position despite scoring just 423 runs -- three fewer than their top-notch pitching staff has allowed. While a resurgent Christian Yelich has paced the offense, only one other season-long regular, catcher William Contreras, has an OPS above .700.
Milwaukee, which shipped closer Josh Hader to San Diego at the trade deadline last season and blew a three-game division lead, was expected to add players on the margins rather than go after bigger-name players.
Santana is owed around $2.5 million for the remainder of the season.
Severino hit .268 with a team-leading 25 RBIs in 48 games while playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2022.