The Minnesota Twins third baseman (or perhaps first baseman) can make up to $44 million through a three-year deal made official on Tuesday.
The Minnesota Twins have been smart with their money since Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over the front office and part of that process has been striking long-term deals to secure pieces of their nucleus prior to reaching free agency. Last year’s deals with Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco paid off in a big way in 2019 and the Twins are hoping for the same thing with third baseman Miguel Sano.
Sano made a three-year contract official on Tuesday with a base salary that checks in at $27.25 million. In addition to that commitment, the Twins also gave Sano incentives in a loaded fourth-year option that could increase the deal to $44 million.
During his press conference, Sano admitted he expected to go to arbitration, but his main motive was to stay in Minnesota.
"“My agent called me and told me, ‘You’ve got a deal on the table. Do you want it?’” Sano said via Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I said, ‘Yeah, let’s go take it.’ Because I don’t think about the money. I think about play with the Twins. I take my future, my family, that’s the biggest point for me right now.”"
Right now seems to be a moment where Sano’s career could take off after a rebound season in 2019. With the first five seasons of his major league career including an All-Star selection in 2017, but a trip down to Single-A Fort Myers the following season, Sano got himself into shape and crushed a career-high 34 home runs in just 105 games.
While the Twins would like to see a decrease in strikeouts and an improved effort defensively, the deal seems to make sense for the Twins even if they decide to move him across the diamond to first base with the potential acquisition of Josh Donaldson.
"“It’s not really important,” Sano said of that possibility. “I can play outfield, first, third. I’m just willing and able to do whatever it takes. The important thing is to just go out there and play baseball.”"
Miller also reports that Sano’s deal will pay $7 million in 2020, $11 million in 2021 and $9.25 million in 2022. The deal includes an option year in 2023 that could pay Sano up to $17 million through performance-based incentives, but the Twins can get out of the deal with a $2.75 million buyout.
If Sano can continue his trajectory, he could be a member of the Twins for a long time to come. Even if trade rumors persist around Sano as the Twins attempt to fill holes on the roster, his focus is on becoming a key piece to the Twins and helping them win moving forward.