MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Twins and free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson are in agreement on a four-year contract. Jon Heyman adds that the deal is for $92 million.
Donaldson, 34, had a bounce-back year with the Braves, batting .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs and 94 RBI over 659 plate appearances, helping the club win the NL East for a second consecutive season. Donaldson missed most of the 2018 season due to injuries, so he took a one-year deal with the Braves to rebuild his value. It worked.
The Twins recently inked third baseman Miguel Sanó to a three-year, $30 million contract extension. It would seem that the club now has three terrific players (Nelson Cruz being the third) for two positions — third base and DH — but they may choose to move Sano to first base.
No matter what the Twins end up doing, one thing is for certain: they are going to hit the baseball. This past season, the club ranked second in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS, and fourth in on-base percentage. Adding Donaldson into the mix can’t make opposing pitchers in the American League feel good.
The Braves and Nationals were both in pursuit of Donaldson’s services. Now that he’s in Minnesota, one wonders if the two NL East teams might get even more in the mix for Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.