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Indians extend $17.4 million qualifying offer to Carlos Santana

Well, duh.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

In the least shocking news of the offseason, the Cleveland Indians are going to extend the $17.4 million qualifying offer to first baseman Carlos Santana, per Jon Heyman.

The news isn’t really a surprise, because of course they would and of course Carlos is going to deny it. The new qualifying offer rules are a little more complicated compared to previous seasons, but the rational behind extended it remains the same: If Carlos Santana declines and is signed elsewhere this offseason, the Indians get a draft pick.

Under the new Collecting Bargaining Agreement, the Indians are guaranteed a supplemental first-round draft pick — fancy lawyerin’ talk for a pick at the end of the first round of next year’s Amateur Draft. According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Indians are also one of a handful of teams eligible for a pick between the first round and the Competitive Balance Round A of the 2018 if Carlos Santana signs for at least $50 million this offseason.

All of this could be moot, however, if the Indians have been reading my diary and they do whatever it takes to bring Santana back for another season or three or seven. The 31-year-old catcher turned first baseman accumulated 23 fWAR over his eight years with the Tribe, with a .249/.365/.445, 123 wRC+, and a reputation for extreme patience at the plate. Since his debut season in 2010, only Jose Bautista and Joey Votto have better walk rates than Carlos Santana’s 15.2 percent. He is also one of six Indians players up for a Gold Glove Award this season.

Wherever he goes, our boy is getting paid.