Josh Donaldson retires from MLB three years after busting as a Twins free agent signing

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

So much was made this offseason about how little the Minnesota Twins spent, and while most of it had to do with fears over lost future revenue there are lessons from the past that were clearly learned and applied.

At last year's trade deadline the Twins stood pat after making deals the previous season that blew up in their face. A similar line can be drawn from the Twins refusal to spend money on top free agents and what happened when the team signed Josh Donaldson.

Donaldson is likely in the furtherest corner of everyone's mind -- where he should be -- but the debacle following the monster deal Minnesota gave him is his lasting memory for fans as news of his retirement from the game spread on Monday.

Former Twins 3B Josh Donaldson officially announces retirement from MLB

On Monday Donaldson officially announced his retirement from baseball, although not many Twins fans will be attending any parades in his honor.

Donaldson came to the Twins as a high-priced free agent but never lived up to the hype. It was a massive swing for the front office, paying Donaldson to a four-year $92 million contract in 2020 and promplty regretting it almost right away.

He only played 28 games in his first season -- albeit it was a shortend season -- and became known more for his antics than his play. He ended up slashing .244/.355/.474 during his two years in Minnesota but it was things like complaining about umpires on Twitter and riling up opposing fan bases that serve as his lasting legacy.

Perhaps above all else was how Donaldson reportedly rubbed his teammates the wrong way. He was traded before the third year of his contract started specifically because of negative imapct on the clubhouse, which is something players haven't been shy about expressing in the years since.

He was supposed to be a key piece of a contending core, but the most value Donaldson gave the Twins was what he netted in return when the Twins traded him to the Yankees. New York sent Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela back to Minnesota in the deal, which ended up helping bridge the gap that eventually led to Royce Lewis taking over third.

Lest we forget that almost as soon as he got to New York he was suspended for saying racist things to Tim Anderson, so the Twins truly avoided further disaster.

In a offseason where fans are rightfully upset about how little the team spent, Donaldson's retirement serves are a reminder that going big game hunting during the winter isn't always something that pans out the way you expect.

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