7: 19pm: Donaldson will manufacture $84MM over the first four years of the contract, tweets Create-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. The option is valued at $16MM and springs with an $8MM buyout.
7: 01pm: Donaldson will most definitely be assured $92MM, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The option on the contract would issue its total worth to 5 years and $100MM, if exercised.
6: 50pm: The Twins bear agreed to a four-year contract with free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets. There’s an option for a fifth season on the deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 SKOR North Radio. Donaldson is represented by the MVP Sports Community.
The $92MM guarantee makes this the largest free-agent signing in crew history and the 2nd-biggest contract the franchise has ever given out, trailing finest Joe Mauer’s eight-year, $184MM mega-deal.
Minnesota has lengthy been reported to abet ardour in Donaldson after missing out on elevated-reside upgrades at the starting up rotation earlier in the winter. By bringing Donaldson aboard, the Twins will shift the currently prolonged Miguel Sano all the diagram by the diamond to first unhappy, upgrading their infield protection substantially while adding judicious one of the game’s most potent bats to what turned into already judicious one of MLB’s simplest lineups in 2019.
Donaldson, 34, bounced abet from an damage-ruined 2018 season to hit .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs in 155 video games/659 plate appearances with the Braves closing season. That marked his fourth season of not not up to 33 home runs previously five years, with the lone exception coming in 2018 when a calf damage held him to 52 video games. His addition, extremely, will give the Twins six gamers who hit 30 or more home runs in 2019; Sano, Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver additionally crossed the 30-homer threshold on a crew that Rosario nicknamed the “Bomba Squad.” Whereas that originate of output can’t be expected to be repeated — not not up to, assuming the league corrects closing year’s juiced ball — the Twins must restful restful be in possession of probably baseball’s strongest lineup.
For the Twins, Donaldson’s glove at third unhappy is arguably besides-known as his offensive prowess. Despite taking half in closing season at age 33, Donaldson tied for 17th among MLB infielders with +8 Outs Above Common (per Statcast). Sano, conversely, checked in at -5 in that identical category, so entertaining him all the diagram by the diamond in make a choice on of Donaldson will yelp a marked upgrade to the crew’s infield protection, which turned into quietly judicious one of its most important wants. Shortstop Jorge Polanco graded out poorly, as did rookie 2nd baseman Luis Arraez. The crew’s infield protection absolutely won’t be a energy in 2020, but it figures to be considerably better with Donaldson than it otherwise would bear.
Given the Twins’ inability to upgrade their rotation in a important diagram this winter, that improved protection might well well be the total more well-known. Minnesota has signed Homer Bailey and Rich Hill to inexpensive one-year deals but will otherwise depend on a undoubtedly identical starting up workers to the one which seemed overmatched in the 2019 American League Division Series. Jose Berrios stays below club control as an arbitration-eligible player, while Jake Odorizzi favorite a qualifying provide and Michael Pineda re-signed on a two-year, $20MM deal. There’s restful room for the Twins to manufacture an addition, for certain, but the free-agent market has been largely picked over and the alternate market doesn’t provide a clearly readily in the market prime-of-the-rotation arm.
The addition of Donaldson must restful push the Twins to a original franchise myth in payroll, eclipsing the previous effect of $129MM by a correct margin. Assuming an even $21MM breakdown of the first four years of the deal, the Twins’ 2020 payroll will clock in at correct shocked of $140MM. Good as that quantity will most definitely be, the Twins’ total commitments will plummet to about $55MM in 2021; Odorizzi, Cruz, Bailey, Hill, Marwin Gonzalez, Alex Avila, Tyler Clippard, Trevor Might and Ehire Adrianza are all lined up to change into free agents.
Signing Donaldson, who rejected a qualifying provide from the Braves, will cost the Twins their third-top doubtless capture in the 2020. That’s their Aggressive Steadiness Round B selection — at prove slotted to reach in at No. 73 total. The Braves, conversely, will win a compensatory selection between the reside of Aggressive Steadiness Round B and the muse of Round 3. Coincidentally, the comp capture they’ll win will land in the particular identical vary as the capture that Minnesota is surrendering.
If truth be told, given Donaldson’s age, there’s some risk with the deal. He’s typically been a durable commodity originate air of that 2018 season, but Donaldson’s capability to reside an elite player into the guts years of this contract is more in seek records from of than is traditional with youthful free agents. In fact, with Cruz among the Twins’ many free agents next winter, Donaldson might well well at closing starting up seeing some beyond regular time at DH to abet preserve him productive. And, in the closing season or two of the deal, it’s that you just’ll be succesful to accept as true with that he might well well even attend as the crew’s major designated hitter if that turns into vital.
Taking a stumble on ahead to the rest of the offseason, it appears doubtless that the Twins will proceed to not not up to parse the marketplace for readily in the market pitching upgrades. The bullpen is in better shape than it turned into on the onset of free company, but there’s doubtlessly some room for one other ’pen addition and positively room for one other starter to be introduced into the fray. Actual how a lot additional owner Jim Pohlad is animated to push payroll and the diagram animated president of baseball ops Derek Falvey is to allotment with younger abilities will indirectly dictate whether one other splash is in the offing.
The Twins, for certain, aren’t the particular crew impacted by this signing. The Braves now bear a evident hole in the guts of their lineup and a necessity on the fresh nook. The Nationals, one other finalist in the Donaldson combine, can flip to about a combination of Starlin Castro, Asdrubal Cabrera or prospect Carter Kieboom at third unhappy. That Donaldson landed in Minnesota additionally bodes properly for both the Cubs and Rockies, if both plans to critically entertain presents for his or her respective star third basemen, Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado. The Twins wouldn’t essentially bear made a push to add a special third baseman had Donaldson signed in thoroughly different places, having Sano already in the fold. Nonetheless the Braves now appear to bear a main want at third unhappy — growing a transparent avenue to a doable alternate for a third baseman of some form.