One of MLB's last remaining big-name free agents has reportedly found a new home, as third baseman Josh Donaldson has agreed to a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, according to MLB's Mark Feinsand. ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the deal is worth $92 million guaranteed, paying Donaldson $84 million over the first four years and including a fifth-year club option at $16 million with an $8 million buyout.
"I feel like they have a really good team," Donaldson told Sports Illustrated. "They were able to do some really nice things last year, hit a lot of home runs, win a lot of games. I definitely think that’s appealing. I’ve had a lot of personal success there. But ultimately, though, the financials were where they needed to be for my agent and my family and everybody to feel very happy with it.”
After signing a one-year, $23 million deal last offseason with the Atlanta Braves, Donaldson hit 37 home runs and recorded 94 RBI, his best season since his time with the Toronto Blue Jays.
When Anthony Rendon agreed to join the Los Angeles Angels in mid-December, Donaldson became the best third baseman still on the market.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal notes that the former Braves deal with the Twins is second-largest for a player 33 or older—Kevin Brown agreed to a longer deal when he signed a seven-year, $105M deal with the Dodgers in 1998.
The Twins recently locked up slugger Miguel Sano on a three-year contract extension. With Donaldson's arrival, it seems likely that Sano will move to first base or DH. The Twins also added pitchers Homer Bailey and Rich Hill this offseason.
However, the team could not reach an arbitration agreement with pitcher Jose Berrios, meaning that a hearing is scheduled in February.
Donaldson joined the Twins after reportedly being targeted by the Braves, Nationals and Rangers, among other teams.
The Twins went 101-61 last season and won the AL Central. They were swept by the New York Yankees in the ALDS.
"Any time you have the opportunity to step on the same field as them, you have the opportunity to win," Donaldson said of his team's chances to knock off the aforementioned Yankees. "I definitely think that it’s going to be difficult. The Yankees have added Gerrit Cole and had a really nice team before free agency this year. It’s definitely going to have some challenges to it; every year does. But any time you get that opportunity, there’s a chance.”