Yankees acquire Josh Donaldson from Twins in five-player trade

MLB: Minnesota Twins vs. Toronto Blue Jays
FILE PHOTO: September 17, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson, 20, hits a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the third inning at the Rogers Center. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2022

The New York Yankees acquired veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday night.

Shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt also travel to New York, while catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela head to Minnesota.

Donaldson is a three-time All-Star who won the American League MVP honor in 2015 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. He has 251 career home runs, 26 of which came in his second season with the Twins last year.

Donaldson got into a verbal sparring match with Yankees ace Gerrit Cole last June. Donaldson expressed that he felt that the spin rate on Cole’s pitches suddenly dropped because other pitchers were being disciplined by Major League Baseball.

Donaldson hinted that Cole had reduced stickies due to the suspensions.

“Is it a coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s (Thursday) spin rate dropped after four minor leagues were suspended for 10 games?” Donaldson said. “Is that possible? I don’t know. Maybe.”

Cole wasn’t happy about having to bring up the subject.

“Obviously it is undesirable. But I understand that this is an important issue for anyone interested in the game,” said Cole. “Regarding Josh in particular, I felt like it was a bit of low hanging fruit, but he has every right to speak his mind. I have other things to focus on.”

Now they become teammates. Donaldson, 36, has career averages of .269 and 728 RBIs in 1,201 major league games with the Oakland Athletics, the Blue Jays, the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves and the Twins.

The twins reportedly wanted to end Donaldson’s contract. He is owed $50 million over the next two years, and they will now try to find a buyer for Sanchez that they have no interest in retaining.

Sanchez, 29, is a two-time All-Star but batted just .204 last season and .147 in 2020. He hit 23 home runs and hit 54 carries in 117 games last season.

Sanchez has 138 homers and 340 RBIs in 538 career games over six seasons, all with the Yankees.

Urshela, 30, batted a .267 in 116 games last season with 14 homers and 49 RBIs. He has 49 homers, 192 RBIs and a career average of .271 in 458 games over six three-team seasons.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa was acquired from the Twins by the Texas Rangers on Saturday. He and right-hander Ronny Henriquez went to Minnesota in exchange for catcher Mitch Garver.

Kiner-Falefa, who turns 27 on March 23, hit .271 with eight homers, 20 stolen bases and 53 RBIs in 158 games last season. He won a Gold Glove at third base in 2020.

Rortvedt, 24, hit .169 with three homers and seven RBIs in 39 games last season as a rookie with the Twins.

–Field level media Yankees acquire Josh Donaldson from Twins in five-player trade


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