Yankees acquire Josh Donaldson, Isaiah Keener Valiva and Ben Rortvedt from the Twins of Gary Sanchez and Jio Urcella
The Bronx Bombers’ lull season ended abruptly, with the Yankees and Twins reuniting in an impressive five-man deal. third man base Josh Donaldsonplayer Isaiah Keener Valivaand catcher Ben Rortvedt They’re all headed to the Yankees, while the twins will pick up the catcher Gary Sanchez and player Jiu Orchila. The $50 million still owed on Donaldson’s contract is being fully absorbed by the Yankees, as determined Mark Vinsand MLB.com.
Donaldson has a five-team no-deal clause, although it is not known if the Yankees are one of the five clubs on his list, or whether he has waived his clause to fly to New York. The Yankees will pay a $2 million hiring bonus due to the trade, and if transferred, Donaldson’s $16 million club option for 2024 now becomes a mutual option with a $6 million buyout, rather than an $8 million buyout.
This giant deal brought a change in the roster of both teams, and Keener Valiva’s tenure in Minnesota is ending after just a day. The twins only acquired Kiner-Falefa from the Rangers for Mitch Garver Saturday, but now the former Gold Glover has been flipped as part of a much bigger deal that sees the twins move a big salary off their books. No other heart seems imminent, like Ken Rosenthal of Athletic says: The twins plan to use Sanchez behind the board.
After a winter of speculation about how the Yankees would treat their land, the Bronx Bombers have now installed Donaldson as their daily third baseman and Kiner-Falefa as their new short stand. (New York was linked to the IKF earlier this winter, so the team finally landed it even after its short hiatus in Minnesota.) DJ Limaheu May float between the first and second base, share time with Jaleber Torres in Keystone and Luke Voigt In the first rule. A DH spot is also a possibility to award rackets to players, depending on the amount of pitch time Giancarlo Stanton can handle.
All that being said, we definitely can’t rule out the Yankees making another big push, given that the team is linked with both. Freddy Freeman And the Matt Olson To address the first rule. If any of these players were acquired, Voit would surely look instant trade filterAnd even a deal with LeMahieu or Torres could be a possibility depending on which direction the Yankees are willing to take.
Donaldson is no stranger to AL East, having enjoyed some of his best years (including the 2015 MVP season) while playing for the Blue Jays from 2015-18. The 36-year-old’s production hasn’t fallen much since those years in Toronto, while emerging Injury Fears As Donaldson deepens into his 30s, Donaldson remains a dangerous bat. The third baseman hit .247/ .352/ .475 with 26 Homers over 543 PA with the Twins last season, continuing to post his usual elite-level contact and walk rates.
Defensive metrics were mixed in Donaldson’s third base glove business, but New York hope Kiner-Falefa can pick up any defensive slowdown on the left side of the field. Kiner-Falefa won the AL Gold Glove Award as the third baseman with the Texas in 2020, and has also been impressive in over 1,498 career short runs showing defenses saved (+14) and UZR/150 (+1.7) metrics, on Although Outs’ measure of above average (-7) was far too low in the short glove business in 2021. Fielding’s Bible ranked Kiner-Falefa third among all the shortstops in their 2021 season vote.
The Kiner-Falefa is controlled by two other refereeing seasons, essentially making it a bridge to what the Yankees hope will be their stopping point in the future. Throughout the winter, New York reportedly resisted entering the quest for the upper tier of the free freight forwarder market due to the team’s belief in star prospects. Anthony Volpi And the Oswald Peraza. With Peraza close to his MLB debut early this season and Volpe possibly coming by 2023, the Yankees wanted to keep flexibility on short notice rather than lock themselves in a ten-year commitment to Carlos Correa or a Cory Seeger.
Rortvedt is the least well known of the five names involved in the swap, and he only made .169/ .229/ .281 on his first 98 PA in the majors, all with Minnesota last season. Although Rortvedt has fared better in the minors, Sanchez is not expected to be another on the board, as the Yankees seem to be intending to Rortvedt with a platoon. Kyle Higashioka In a tandem defense first. Considering every other pop in the New York lineup, focusing on glove work behind the plate seems like a fair trade-off, especially since Sanchez’s defense has been the subject of controversy for years among Yankees fans. Once again, it’s not out of the question that an aggressive Yankee team would go one step further to add a more seasoned warrior to the striking mix.
On the payroll side, the Yankees are taking $50 million from Donaldson, and expected $4.9 million for the 2022 Kiner-Falefa salary and minimum salary for Rortvedt. Urshela’s $6.55 million salary for 2022 and Sanchez’s projected $7.9 million salary come from the books, leaving the bombers with a luxury tax figure of about $242.7 million (according to Menu resource). That’s well above the new $230 million tax threshold but below the $250 million “Tier Two”, which would result in a tougher financial penalty for the Yankees. The club has been keen to dodge the luxury tax streak in 2021 and thus reset its watch, so the Yankees will only have to pay a first-time penalty of 20 per cent on every dollar spent between $230 million and $250 million.
The savings are even more profound for the twins, who have taken Donaldson off their books and now freed up some long-term salary space. According to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North (Twitter link), did not capture the Kiner-Falefa twins with the intent to immediately transfer him again, however the club was eventually swayed by the Yankees’ offer to take all of Donaldson’s contract.
That doesn’t mean Minnesota is necessarily looking to tear down the roster, as much of Donaldson’s 2022 salary space has been taken up by Sanchez, Orchila and even Sony GrayAnd the acquired Earlier today from the Reds. After spending just under $100 million on payroll in 2021, the twins have about $94.2 million on books for 2022 right now, giving them more room for other moves if they approach their full season payroll from $125 to $131 million from 2018. – 19 seasons.
Owner Jim Bohlad said last summer that the twins It will not be rebuiltAnd, although it looks as if the twins are still aggressively planning to compete in 2022, they have created more maneuverability for themselves in landing Sanchez (one year left before free agency) and Urcella (two years out of control). If things go south for the Twins in 2022 as they did in 2021, the team may be able to shift more cleanly towards moving players into the trade deadline, perhaps at this point considering a larger-scale rebuild.
It wasn’t long ago that Sanchez was seen as a key to the Yankees’ future as he exploded with massive numbers of force that seemed to put him next in the long line of big-hit Bronx hunters. However, Sanchez has produced mid-to-mid figures in three of the past four years, leading to speculation last fall that Sanchez might even be a non-tender candidate. It’s clear that sticking to the catch has proven itself worthwhile for the Yankees, as they were able to make it a big trading chip in this major trade-off.
Between his defensive woes and his development into a real three-stakes player type, it remains to be seen if Sanchez can find a fresh start in Minneapolis. He wouldn’t be the first player to thrive outside the pressure cooker in New York (new teammate Gray is a prime example), and Sanchez still provides solid strength and key numbers. Sanchez still makes a lot of strong calling, but just making that call has been an ongoing problem, as Sanchez has been one of the most attacking hitters in the game for five straight seasons.
Assuming the twins are already planning to keep Sanchez, he will mate with him Ryan Jeffers (More defensive mask) as an alternative to Garver. Elsewhere on the pitch, a situation that seemed stable with the addition of Kiner-Falefa is now again up in the air.
While Urshela does have some experience as a short captain, he looks likely to take Donaldson’s place at third base, as the hot corner is Urshela’s regular center and has shown himself as a very solid defender. Urshela basically came out of nowhere to post huge numbers to the Yankees in 2019 and 2020, making himself a regular fast amid several hits on the New York roster during the 2019 campaign.
However, Urshela faced some health issues himself last season, lost time amid the COVID-19 outbreak at the New York club and then strained his left hamstring. This may explain Urshela’s drop to a modest .267/.301/.419 slash and 14 home runs above 442 PA, while walk-and-strike rates are below 2020 levels.
The twins are clearly counting on rebounds from both of their new players, and there are some obvious positives to the club’s plan. If Sanchez and Urcella get back to their form in 2019, it will more than make up for Donaldson’s loss to his racket. The scope of this deal seems to suggest that at least one notable follow-up move will come, as the twins now once again need to address a short-term void that Kiner-Falefa has apparently filled. Jorge Polanco He could return to Shortstop in a pinch but the Twins prefer him as second leader going forward.
Since Urshela can at least handle a Shortstop on a part-time basis, the Twins can also choose to land another third baseman, allowing Urshela/Polanco to share short time and Polanco/Louis Araz Split in the second base. Daniel Robertson And the Tim Beckham She’s also in camp on minor league deals for more offside options, and rounding up the possibilities Jose MirandaThe big 2021 season has brought him close to making his MLB debut.
Jeff Bassan from ESPN (Twitter link) was the first to report Donaldson and Keener Valiva’s treatment to the Yankees, while John Heyman of MLB Network You mentioned that Sanchez and Urcella are going to Minnesota. Ken Rosenthal athlete (via Twitter) reported the inclusion of Rortvedt in the trade.
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