Twins acquire shortstop Kyle Farmer in trade with Reds

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MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Twins acquired shortstop Kyle Farmer from Cincinnati on Friday night in a trade that sent minor league right-hander Casey Legumina to the Reds.

Farmer gives the Twins middle infield flexibility regardless of whether they get a new deal done this winter with free agent shortstop Carlos Correa. The 32-year-old Farmer batted .255 with 14 home runs and 78 RBIs in 526 at-bats for the Reds in 2022, his second season as a regular in the lineup. He started 98 games at shortstop, 36 at third base and 10 as the designated hitter.

The Twins traded third baseman Gio Urshela to the Los Angeles Angels earlier on Friday for minor league right-hander Alejandro Hidalgo.

Jorge Polanco is entrenched as the second baseman and Luis Arraez and Jose Miranda are on track to take the corner infield spots, but if Correa doesn’t return the Twins would need a regular shortstop.

Prized prospect Royce Lewis is recovering from another torn ACL and likely won’t be ready for action until midseason. Nick Gordon is the only other natural shortstop on the roster, but his greatest value to the Twins is his versatility. Gordon started 78 games in the outfield last year, 29 at second base and seven at shortstop.

Farmer made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017. He is eligible for salary arbitration.

Legumina was an eighth-round draft pick by the Twins in 2019 out of Gonzaga University. He has a 4.25 ERA in 135 2/3 innings over two minor league seasons, with 25 starts in 48 appearances. Legumina finished 2022 with Double-A Wichita.

The Twins also tendered contracts to their remaining seven players eligible for arbitration: Arraez, left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar, right-handed relievers Jorge Alcala, Jorge Lopez and Emilio Pagan, and right-handed starters Tyler Mahle and Chris Paddack. Outfielder Kyle Garlick avoided arbitration earlier this month by signing a one-year, $750,000 deal.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.