But then if the option is ultimately declined, it reverts back to a four-year, $92 million deal, and the Twins get hit with an extra $12 million in "salary" for the 2024 season (the amount they "saved" during those four years), even after Donaldson is gone.
Donaldson, the 2015 American League most valuable player and 2019 National League comeback player of the year, battled calf and shoulder injuries in 2017 and 2018, when he was limited to 165 games, before reestablishing himself on a one-year, $23-million contract with the Braves in 2019. He finished in the top 10 in MVP voting four consecutive years from 2013-16. The third baseman would spend 3.5 seasons north of the border hitting.281/.383/.548 with 116 homers and a 21.6 WAR in 462 games with Toronto. Donaldson is a three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award victor, winning both while with the Blue Jays.
Donaldson spent the first four years of his career with the Athletics and is a career.273 hitter. Minnesota set an Major League Baseball single-season record with 307 home runs in 2019. They traded him to the Indians for a minor league player in a rental deal at the deadline on August 31, 2018. Rendon signed a seven-year, $245-million deal with the Angels in December.
The Twins made a big impression on Donaldson in their pitch meeting, sources told Passan, and Donaldson's connection with manager Rocco Baldelli was immediate and strong. It's very much a deal for the present, as Donaldson will play at 34 this year and thus at 37 in the final year of the contract.
The Twins set the Major League Baseball record for most home runs in a season in 2019 and have just added even more thump to the lineup to strengthen their club further.
The acquisition of Donaldson will allow the Twins to move third baseman Miguel Sanó across the diamond to the opposite corner. Sano has a powerful arm and is agile for his size, but the 26-year-old slugger, who's listed at 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, ought to be better suited for the long term at first base. Cron, who hit 25 homers in 125 games in 2019 but was hampered by a thumb injury that required offseason surgery.