The Minnesota Twins recently signed star third baseman Josh Donaldson to a 4 year/$92 million guaranteed deal. The deal features a fifth year, $8 million buyout or a $16 million club option. This becomes the largest free agent deal the Twins have made in franchise history. The Twins finally have the big name and big money addition everyone was waiting for, although this isn’t a pitcher like everyone expected the big deal to be for. Regardless, it’s still a phenomenal deal and Twins fans should be overwhelmed with happiness about the deal.
Donaldson is entering his age-34 season, but shows no signs of slowing down. Steamer projections predict Donaldson to slightly improve from his great 2019 season with the Atlanta Braves. They project he will slash .267/.379/.527 (.906 OPS) while hitting 36 home runs with 103 RBI. Some other numbers they project are a .378 wOBA, 137 wRC+, 14.5 BB%, 23.4% K%, and a 5.3 fWAR in 147 games.
Projections are always just a guess based on some previous information, although that doesn’t mean they can’t be accurate. Donaldson had great numbers in 2019, slashing .259/.379/.521 (.900 OPS) with 37 home runs and 94 RBI. He also produced a .377 wOBA and a 132 wRC+. He walked 15.2% of the time and struck out 23.5% of the time while producing a 4.9 fWAR. Defensively, Donaldson is also very good. He produced a 15 DRS, 2.4 UZR, 2.1 UZR/150, and 8 OAA in 1,297.0 innings at third base for the Braves.
Donaldson will take over the third base position for the Twins, while Miguel Sano slides across the diamond to become the team’s primary first baseman. Sano’s defense at first base is significantly better than it is at third base, so the move makes all the sense. He posted a -1 DRS, -0.1 UZR, -1.1 UZR/150, and -1 OAA in 66.0 innings at first base compared to a -5 DRS, -6.7 UZR, -19.9 UZR/150, and -3 OAA in 793.0 innings at third base in 2019.
This is a franchise-changing signing for the Twins. It’s the biggest free agent signing the Twins have ever made and one of the biggest contracts the Twins have ever given to anyone. This is a really good signing and makes the Twins one of, if not the best offense in all of Major League Baseball.
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