Santiago maintained a .685 OPS for the Detroit Tigers over the past three seasons while averaging roughly 100 games played per year. He’s regarded as a sure-handed defender at second base and shortstop. The 32-year-old has become immensely popular with his teammates in Detroit because of his leadership and confident, easygoing demeanor.â†µ
The Pirates declined their very reasonable option on Ronny Cedeno's services for next year. While Cedeno wasn't anyone's favorite player, he has enough value that it's fair to wonder why the Pirates would drop him for $2.8 million, especially given their usual troubles convincing free agents to come to Pittsburgh. However, Santiago might work well as a replacement - he's older than Cedeno, which is too bad, but he's arguably better both offensively and defensively, and he might be convinced to come to Pittsburgh because the Pirates can promise him a starting job.â†µ
The Bucs' top options at shortstop right now are Chase D'Arnaud and Jordy Mercer, neither of whom look ready to be big-league regulars.â†µ
For more on the PIrates, check out Bucs Dugout.