The New York Yankees remade the left facet of their infield, buying former AL MVP Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and backup catcher Ben Rortvedt from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday evening for catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela.
New York jettisoned Sanchez, a two-time All-Star who’s been a defensive legal responsibility and slumped on the plate in 4 straight seasons.
Donaldson, one more right-handed bat within the Yankees righty-heavy batting order, turns into a teammate of Gerrit Cole after suggesting final June that the Yankees ace had been attempting to cover the usage of unauthorized grip aides.
Kiner-Falefa was acquired by the Twins simply on Saturday from Texas in a deal for catcher Mitch Garver. Earlier Sunday, Minnesota traded final 12 months’s first-round decide within the beginner draft, 18-year-old right-hander Chase Petty, to Cincinnati for beginning pitcher Sonny Grey.
No money was concerned on this commerce. The Yankees develop into answerable for Donaldson’s $21 million wage in every of the following two seasons plus a $16 million mutual possibility for 2024 with a $6 million buyout if declined by the crew. He agreed to a $92 million, four-year contract with the Twins, the richest free-agent deal in franchise historical past.
Donaldson was the 2015 AL MVP with Toronto and was an All-Star in three straight seasons from 2014-16. Now 36, he hit .247 with 26 homers and 72 RBIs final 12 months in his second season with the Twins.
New York is trying to retool an offense that scored two runs or fewer in 44 video games and was shut out eight occasions. Proper-handed batters stuffed 68.6% of New York’s plate appearances final season (4,160 of 6,060), and the Yankees are attempting so as to add a left-handed-hitting first baseman.
Kiner-Falefa, who turns 27 on March 23, was a Gold Glove third baseman throughout the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, then was moved to shortstop final 12 months.
He grew to become expendable when the Rangers signed Corey Seager on Dec. 1, the day earlier than the lockout, and was traded Saturday to the Twns. He hit .271 with eight homers and 53 RBIs final season. Kiner-Falefa is eligible for arbitration for 2022 and ‘23, and free of charge company after the 2024 season.
New York was trying so as to add a shortstop after shifting Gleyber Torres to second base on Sept. 13 for the rest of the season. Torres had 18 errors at shortstop final season, second-most within the AL on the time of his transfer.
Sanchez, 29, was an All-Star in 2017 and 2019 however has did not match his manufacturing of 2017, when he hit .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBIs. He batted .204 with 23 homers and 54 RBIs final 12 months
Sanchez led the AL in handed balls in three of the final 5 seasons. He had eight final season, when pitchers threw 60 wild pitches with Sanchez behind the plate, a profession excessive.
He’s eligible free of charge company after this season.
Beside Sanchez, Ryan Jeffers is the lone remaining possibility at catcher for the Twins.
Urshela, 30, is a clean fielder who hit 267 with 18 doubles, 14 homers and 49 RBIs final season. He’s signed to a $6.55 million, one-year deal.
After buying and selling their largest contract, the Twins could possibly be setting themselves as much as make a run at one other high-profile, high-dollar participant. They’ve an enormous gap at shortstop once more, assuming Urshela will slide in at third base, and may definitely use extra beginning pitching.