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Twins sign Nelson Cruz to one-year, $14.3 million contract

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that Twins and Nelson Cruz are in agreement on a one-year deal with an option. The contract will pay Cruz $14.3 million in 2019 and $12 million if the club picks up his option in 2020.

Cruz, who will turn 39 next season, hit .256/.342/.509 with 37 homers last season. Those rate stats were down a bit, but peripheral stats and Statcast metrics suggest he hasn’t lost a step but, rather, just hit into some bad luck in 2018. Obviously at his age you have to assume a decline will soon occur, but for now it seems like he remains a serious power threat. Either way, Cruz has averaged 40.6 homers a year over the past five years. There hasn’t been a more consistent power hitter around, really.

If that consistency falters in 2019, hey, it’s a one-year deal with a cheap $300,000 buyout for 2020. On that score he’ll be a nice addition to a Twins lineup even if he takes a step back.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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