The Minnesota Twins may not have succeeded in grabbing an impact pitcher in free agency, but they are still looking to make a big splash.
Acquiring starting pitching was the top priority for the Minnesota Twins this offseason, but after the signings of Homer Bailey and Rich Hill, it doesn’t appear that they’ll be able to cross that item off their list (barring a major trade in the next month). While the team’s approach has drawn ire from the fan base, it appears the Twins are still looking to make a splash in the free-agent market by acquiring third baseman Josh Donaldson.
The Twins’ pursuit of Donaldson has intensified in the past couple of days as the team has made a four-year offer to the 34-year old according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic (subscription required). While Hayes did not reveal the financial terms of the offer, it is anticipated to be around the $90 million mark as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported a couple of weeks ago.
As of now, the Twins are in the mix for Donaldson’s services but are also bidding against the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and his former team, the Atlanta Braves.
Donaldson would be an intriguing add for the Twins as he would join a lineup that slugged an MLB record 307 home runs last season. For the record, Donaldson has remained an elite hitter despite his advanced age, hitting 30 or more home runs in four of the past five seasons including 37 for the Braves last season.
While the offensive production is nice, Donaldson’s defense could also help the pitching staff in a roundabout way. Last season, the Twins trotted out an infield that had all four members record a negative UZR rating. While Donaldson has never won a gold glove, he’s been a solid defender that recorded just 13 errors at the hot corner and would be the first infield defender for the Twins with a positive UZR rating at 2.4 (per FanGraphs).
Signing Donaldson would be a huge boost on the field and off the field with the public perception of the team. If the Twins can pull it off, there might be even more Bombas at Target Field when “The Bringer of Rain” joins the Bomba Squad.