Donovan Solano contract details revealed, and what it means for the 40-man roster

Boston Red Sox v Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Minnesota Twins made the move to sign infielder Donovan Solano this week, but not only do the details of his contract tip the team's potential plans but it has an impact on the 40-man roster as well.

Solano was signed to a minor league deal on Tuesday, which marked the first move the Twins have made since trading All-Star slugger Luis Arraez to the Miami Marlins at the end of January. It's not that the move is singifcant in contract to the Arraez deal, rather there had been rumblings about Minnesota making a move for the last few weeks yet little actual movement on that front.

The assumption was that the Twins would be looking to bolster the bullpen with a veteran arm. Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, and Matt Moore were all options that made sense but have since signed elsewhere. Alex Reyes agreeing to a $1M deal with the Dodgers raised some eyebrows among fans, and news that Luke Voit was heading to Milwaukee on a minor league deal made folks wonder if the Twins were satisfied with standing pat.

A move was made, but it was Solano rather than a pitcher.

According to Jon Heyman, the Twins as part of the deal are giving Solano $2M in guarantees, which sort of tips their hand as to what the future plans for him.

The most immediate impact the move has is that it means someone from the 40-man roster needs to get moved to make room. Twins beat writer Do-Hyoung Park confirmed that starting pitcher Chris Paddack would be heading to the 60-day IL and Solano would be taking his roster spot.

This was to be expected, as both Paddack and Royce Lewis were likely ending up on the IL to beign the year, thus clearing some space on the 40-man roster as a result. Lewis might make the Opening Day roster depending on how his recovery is going, but Paddack's slot has been filled by Solano.

That, coupled with the fact that the Twins are just handing him $2M seems to suggest he's going to be a part of the lineup sooner rather than late.r

It makes sense, given his skills and how they help the Twins solve some lineup riddles. Aside from wondering about bolstering the bullpen, Minnesota needed to figure out what was going on at first base. Alex Kirilloff seems to be on track for a healthy start to the season, but without Arraez there's no real support behind him.

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Solano played over 200 innings at first base with the Cincinnati Reds last season and seems like the solution to the problem. Joey Gallo is also a potential option for the platoon but he hasn't played at first since 2019.

Minnesota giving Solano a $2M guarantee seems to indicate that he's going to be on track to make the Opening Day roster -- or be the next-man up from the minors -- and offer support behind Kirilloff at first.