The Minnesota Twins have pulled off a huge move to land MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson, locking themselves in as AL Central favorites in 2020.
In what has been a very busy offseason for the AL Central, the Minnesota Twins may have made the final, decisive move that will decide the division in 2020. All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson, one of the only elite free-agent dominoes yet to fall this winter, has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Twins. MLB reporter Mark Feinsand was first to report the news that Donaldson had a deal with Minnesota.
Donaldson’s agreement with the Twins is for $92 million, fully guaranteed, according to Ken Rosenthal. The deal also includes an option for a fifth year that can bring the total value of the contract to $100 million. Prior to signing, Donaldson had set his asking price at $110 million, giving the impression that he would be willing to go to the highest bidder. Surprisingly, the highest bidder turned out to be the Twins, who gave Donaldson the richest free-agent contract in franchise history.
Having watched the Chicago White Sox load up all winter, the Twins must have felt pressure to make an aggressive move to cement their status as leading contender in the AL Central. Chicago had made headline-grabbing moves to sign Dallas Keuchel, Edwin Encarnacion and Yasmani Grandal in an effort to push their rebuilding effort over the finish line.
With Donaldson in the fold, the Twins have made an impressive lineup that much better. The third baseman, who hit .259/.379/.521 last year with 37 home runs and 94 RBI, joins forces with Nelson Cruz, Mitch Garver, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario in an offense that hit an MLB-record 307 home runs in 2019.
This move could also force the hand of the Cleveland Indians, who have been waffling on the future of the face of their franchise, Francisco Lindor, who is a free agent after the 2021 season. The Twins emerged as a shocking 100-game winner last year and have more talent in the pipeline, led by Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff. Forget the AL Central; with the addition of Donaldson, the Twins just might be a legitimate contender to win the whole thing.