Yankees latest roster move confirms Twins won the Josh Donaldson trade

The Twins simply cannot stop beating the Yankees on and off the field.

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

It was a busy Opening Day Eve on the transaction wire across baseball. Specifically, the Tampa Bay Rays seemed to be wheeling-and-dealing their way to finalizing the 26-man roster, making deals involving as many as four teams and a handful of lower-tier players.

One of those deals was with the Twins, although it was more of a donation than a trade since Minnesota didn't get anything in return. Niko Goodrum went from the farm system in Minnesota to the 40-man roster in Tampa Bay, and he's likely to land a bench spot on the Opening Day roster tomorrow.

Tampa Bay also made a trade with the New York Yankees, one that might have flown under-the-radar to most fans. No players are coming back to the Twins as part of the deal, rather the pride of knowing the team has officially won the Josh Donaldson trade on every single level imaginable.

Yankees latest trade confirms Twins won the Josh Donaldson trade

New York traded catcher Ben Rortvedt to Tampa Bay as part of a three-team deal to add infield depth from Miami, and in doing tied off the last loose thread from the Donaldson move three years ago.

Minnesota traded Donaldson to the Yankees back in 2022, acquiring both Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela in return. The Twins also sent Isiah Kiner-Falefa along with Rortvedt back to New York, neither of whom did much for during their time with the Yankees.

To be fair, Sánchez nor Urshela made much of an impact either and they both departed after one season in Minnesota. What the move did do was help remove a toxic element from the clubhouse and lay the groundwork for what would eventually become the youth movement we saw the team experience last year.

Donaldson still had two years left on his contract, which meant he would have been with the Twins last season playing third base. If he had been there, Royce Lewis likely wouldn't have been blocked from becoming the team's everyday third baseman and his ascent to the historic rookie season he had might have been different -- if even possible.

Trading Donaldson not only freed up an eventual path for Lewis but it removed a player that was starting to have a negative impact on team chemistry. Last year wasn't the easiest season but it seemed the players were able to work through a rough offensive slump over the summer to bounce back in a big way.

Does that happen if Donaldson is there weighing everything down?

Luckily, Twins fans didn't have to find out. Instead, Donaldson busted with the Yankees almost as hard as he did in Minnesota and New York has essentially nothing but bad memories to show for it. If anything, the two rivals have a shared experience that brings them closer together, although this latest trade forever and officially gives the Twins the upper hand.

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