Twins Trade Josh Donaldson and New Shortstop to Yankees
What was your favorite Isiah Kiner-Falefa moment, Minnesota Twins fans? Because just hours after trading for their new shortstop, Derek Falvey turned around on Sunday night and dealt him to the New York Yankees, along with Josh Donaldson, all of his money and Ben Rortvedt. In return, the Twins get veteran catcher Gary Sanchez and 30-year-old shortstop/3rd baseman, Gio Urshela.
Catcher Ben Rortvedt is headed to the Yankees along with Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, sources tell ESPN. Catcher Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela are going to Minnesota.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 14, 2022
What is happening?
It’s difficult to know what this move means for the Twins competitiveness this season. There have been conflicting reports coming from respected national baseball reporters (Rosenthal vs Nightengale) on whether or not the Twins plan flip Sanchez, much like they did with Kiner-Falefa.
With moves they had made leading up to this one, it felt like the Minnesota front office was well on its way to fielding a competitive team baseball team, come April 7. And while this trade doesn’t necessarily signal a rebuild, it’s certainly a step backwards for their immediate chances.
But what’s clear, is how much money they will save now and into the future. Josh Donaldson was on the books for $23 million in 2022 and $21 million in 2023. Sanchez and Urshela will combine to make just $14 million in 2022 and both are scheduled to be free agents when the season is over.
Twins' payroll is roughly $95 million right now, about $40 million below their recent spending levels.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) March 14, 2022
They're back to needing a shortstop, with Carlos Correa and Trevor Story still unsigned.
They still need a starting pitcher, but there are no high-end free agents remaining.
What Falvine does with money they’ve saved is what will dictate their relevancy in the upcoming season. If the Minnesota Twins really want to win now, they’ll double down and deal for more and better pitching. Currently, they sit $40 million short of what they paid in 2021 player salaries.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan