KEY POINTS

  • The Twins and third baseman Miguel Sano have agreed to a three-year contract
  • The deal could be worth up to $41 million if the fourth year option is exercised
  • That means the Twins are now out of the race for Josh Donaldson

The Minnesota Twins and third baseman Miguel Sano have agreed to a three-year contract extension, casting doubt over the team’s ability and desire to further pursue free agent Josh Donaldson. Minnesota is known to have tabled an offer to the former Toronto Blue Jay but keeping Sano at Target Field is a sure sign that they have accepted defeat.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the first three years of Sano’s new contract are worth $27 million and there is an option for a fourth season. If the option is not picked up, Sano will receive $4 million while if it is, the Twins will shell out $14 million to the third baseman in 2023. In total, the deal could be worth $41 million over the four years.

After a slow start to 2019, Sano became one of the league’s best hitters. He finished with 34 home runs and 79 RBIs although his final batting average came in at just .247. Sano’s new contract sorts out the hot corner for the next few seasons in Minnesota and it will have an impact on other clubs.

That is because, until this point, the Twins were one of the known admirers of free agent Donaldson, who is still without a team for 2020. With Sano now locked down for the next three years at least, Minnesota doesn’t have a need at the hot corner.

Other suitors of Donaldson include the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, although there are rumors of other interested clubs. Along with the Twins, the Braves and Nationals are both known to have made bids for Donaldson.

With Minnesota now out of contention for the free agent, the odds of the remaining teams to land Donaldson have improved. However, the Nats have signed a few veteran infielders in lieu of Donaldson including Howie Kendrick, Asdrubal Cabrera and Starlin Castro.

Meanwhile, the Braves have always considered Donaldson a luxury signing as they are already near the top end of their 2020 payroll budget and may not be able to match the salary on offer elsewhere. While Miguel Sano’s future is certain, Donaldson’s is anything but.