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Josh Donaldson Trade Options


This season has been a bummer, but it provide a unique opportunity to get rid of a contract that is likely going to be a real problem. Donaldson has been healthy, he's performed well, and the Twins don't need him this season. If they don't find a trade partner, there is a very real risk they are spending $50M over the next two seasons for either a declining or injured player. So let's find a trade partner.

Here is a link on FanGraphs to how all MLB teams are hitting at 3B, sorted by wOBA, from worst to first. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of competitive teams at the top of the list.

  • Philly is 5th, but Bohm is a 24y0 who hit .338 last year, and has looked better lately. I'm not sure they're in any hurry to give up on him.
  • Washington is 6th, and that's more promising. Starling Castro is 31, having a crummy year, and could be returned in a "questionable contract" swap. But does WAS really want to commit to two more years of Donaldson if this is likely their last gasp? (Maybe.)
  • Milwaukee is 8th, but Urias is a 24yo infielder and former top prospect with a 730 OPS this season. I can see them benching him for the stretch run, but do they want to commit to two years of Donaldson at 3rd? (Again, maybe.)

Anyone else want to look at that list and tell me their favorite landing spots for Donaldson. I'm starting to think moving this contract (even if you have to eat a lot of it) should be a major priority this year. 

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If Donaldson can keep hitting like he has been and stay on the field until the deadline the Twins might be able to work out a deal with someone.  I agree that if they eat some money or take a player back on slightly better years and salary they might be able to get something done.  If they are able to unload Donaldson I would hope they would invest the savings into an extension for Berrios or Buxton.

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The Mets or Giants might have some interest. Evan Longoria was playing well for the Giants prior to his injury and I can't imagine the Giants are super interested in 2 expensive, injury prone 3B. The Mets are leading the NL East despite a pretty poor offense. JD would be a major upgrade over Jeff McNeil. That is my prediction if JD gets traded.

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I don't think he is going anywhere. His contract is one factor, injury concerns are another, plus I don't know how long he will actually stay at 3B. Also, who plays 3B for the Twins not only this year but going forward? Arraez has not looked good there. Same with Sano, though the team may be willing to suffer with him there for the rest of the season. Jose Miranda is at AA and has played as many games at SS and 2B as he has at 3B and Baseball Savant projects him as a 2B.

Donaldson has been playing well of late and has taken on somewhat of a leadership role according to mlb.com; https://www.mlb.com/twins/news/twins-hit-3-home-runs-in-win-over-indians

Granted, he will probably be an overpaid DH for at least one year of this contract, but I think he is the teams best option at 3B going forward and won't be traded. 

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1 hour ago, John Bonnes said:

John, FYI -- if you click the "3B" position along the horizontal bar at Fangraphs, that shows you the combined stats of everyone who Fangraphs qualifies as a 3B. So for the Twins, for example, it includes Donaldson's full line, Arraez's full line, and Astudillo's -- even the stats they've accumulated while playing other positions. This is evident in the fact that PA in this split varies wildly between teams.

If you click "3B" from the drop-down split menu instead, you will only see stats accumulated by players while playing 3B:

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2021&month=39&season1=2021&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2021-01-01&enddate=2021-12-31&sort=15,a

The Twins wOBA in your split (including Astudillo) was .327, but in the latter split, it shoots up to .356, to give you an idea of the potential swings.

Among possible trade targets, though, there isn't much movement. Cincinnati moves ahead of (worse than) Milwaukee, right next to Washington in actual 3B performance, although they're already locked into Suarez and the currently injured Moustakas.

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Outside the box idea: Toronto! They're in the bottom half of 3B performance so far in 2021, they have a positive history with Donaldson, and although they have Cavan Biggio and expect him to improve, they also have DH at-bats they could give Donaldson while Biggio rotates around in a super-utility role.

I wouldn't expect Toronto to go out of their way to acquire Donaldson, but it could be a creative addition to a trade for Twins pitching.

Another blast from Donaldson's past is Oakland, although what they really need is a shortstop. But if the price was right, maybe they'd add Donaldson, let him take some DH at-bats in 2021, with an eye toward flipping Chapman as he enters his final two years of arbitration eligibility.

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29 minutes ago, JW24 said:

The Mets or Giants might have some interest. Evan Longoria was playing well for the Giants prior to his injury and I can't imagine the Giants are super interested in 2 expensive, injury prone 3B. The Mets are leading the NL East despite a pretty poor offense. JD would be a major upgrade over Jeff McNeil. That is my prediction if JD gets traded.

Longoria is expected back around the all-star break.

McNeil hasn't actually played an inning at 3B for the Mets this year -- he's at 2B in place of Cano (who is still under contract for 2022-2023). Their primary 3B have been Villar and Davis, both injured at the moment but expected back soon. They haven't been bad, and Donaldson would represent a 2021 upgrade especially defensively, but the Mets roster is a hard thing to figure out...

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I'm in the mode of trade anyone that has value, but I'm wondering how wise it is to trade someone with no clear player to inherit the position now or long term.  Would they simply create a bigger problem by leaving a gaping hole where Donaldson used to be - both offensively and defensively?  I realize that his injury history nullifies that argument a bit, but it's one thing to fill the gap temporarily with several guys and quite another to have to permanently fill that void.  Moving Sano back to 3B excites me even less than leaving him at 1B does.  I could probably live with that for the rest of this season, but that's a massive problem for me long term.  And I think Donaldson's salary, age and injury history limit the return that they'll get for him.

Couple this with a potential trade of Simmons, and you're left trying to fill in the left side of your infield less than a full season after you made upgrading your infield defense a priority.

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50 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Longoria is expected back around the all-star break.

McNeil hasn't actually played an inning at 3B for the Mets this year -- he's at 2B in place of Cano (who is still under contract for 2022-2023). Their primary 3B have been Villar and Davis, both injured at the moment but expected back soon. They haven't been bad, and Donaldson would represent a 2021 upgrade especially defensively, but the Mets roster is a hard thing to figure out...

The Mets have the means to absorb the contract, and a left side of the infield of JD and Lindor would be pretty darn solid. Mostly though, the Mets need to capitalize on DeGrom having an all-time great season. They are dead-last in MLB in runs scored per game. They should absolutely be looking to add offense wherever they can find it and I doubt they would need to give up much if they took on JD's entire salary.

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11 minutes ago, JW24 said:

The Mets have the means to absorb the contract, and a left side of the infield of JD and Lindor would be pretty darn solid. Mostly though, the Mets need to capitalize on DeGrom having an all-time great season. They are dead-last in MLB in runs scored per game. They should absolutely be looking to add offense wherever they can find it and I doubt they would need to give up much if they took on JD's entire salary.

"Means" may not equal willingness. :) The Mets will already be paying $20.25 mil to Cano in both 2022 and 2023, so they might be reticent about adding a similar commitment to another older player and squeezing out younger/cheaper options like McNeil. (The DH coming to the NL would help them!) Donaldson could also take up most of their room under the luxury tax threshold in 2021, if they are thinking of making other moves this summer.

Not that they shouldn't upgrade their offense this year, but they might rather go for someone like Escobar if they can or one of the many rental outfielders available. Or insist the Twins pay some of Donaldson's salary.

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2 hours ago, mnfireman said:

I don't think he is going anywhere. His contract is one factor, injury concerns are another, plus I don't know how long he will actually stay at 3B. Also, who plays 3B for the Twins not only this year but going forward? Arraez has not looked good there. Same with Sano, though the team may be willing to suffer with him there for the rest of the season. Jose Miranda is at AA and has played as many games at SS and 2B as he has at 3B and Baseball Savant projects him as a 2B.

Donaldson has been playing well of late and has taken on somewhat of a leadership role according to mlb.com; https://www.mlb.com/twins/news/twins-hit-3-home-runs-in-win-over-indians

Granted, he will probably be an overpaid DH for at least one year of this contract, but I think he is the teams best option at 3B going forward and won't be traded. 

How about Jose Miranda to replace Donaldson. He’s having a monster year!!!

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I don't know if Donaldson is tradeable or even whether or if the Twins should be entertaining such a thing.

If I were in charge, I would answer the phone for trade offers, but the Twins have plenty of other players they can trade to rebuild the team.  Note I would never expect that phone to ring with people wanting to trade for him.

If the Twins trade Donaldson, Sano moves back to third.  Sure we can talk about putting other options at third, but we know what the Twins would do.  Is this what we want?  

Before the Twins entertain trading good players, let's figure out how to get rid of some of the players, like Sano, who are not a part of the Twins future.  The Twins should make moves that improve the team, not moves that get rid of good players and guarantee a bad couple of years.  

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Guys, this isn’t about whether or not Donaldson is replaceable. That’s short term thinking about this year. It’s possible we may contend this year but it sure doesn’t look very likely.

The reason you trade Donaldson Is to free up payroll so that you can sign Jose Berrios or Byron Buxton for the next three or four years. It is much more important to the Twins to have one or both of those guys playing, with a Arraez, Polanco, Sano or Miranda playing third, then it is to lose one or both of those guys at the end of next year because you’re not willing to commit to another $20 million plus a year contract. That is what it’s going to take to sign Berrios at least, probably the same for Buxton. Thinking about the next 1 to 3 years, rather than just this year, leads me to the inescapable conclusion that that money is better spent keeping Berrios (Buxton if you can’t get Berrios to sign) than having Donaldson. Same logic goes for Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda,  and Simmons. 
 

To me, the bottom line is that if the Twins think they can resign Berrios and/or Buxton and need to move an expensive contract to do so, trade Donaldson for whatever you can get for him. Move Arraez in is the every day third baseman for now and give Miranda a shot. The key to having a competitive team next year and the next two or three years there after is going to be keeping our only real front line starting pitcher, Berrios, and the one difference maker in the field, Buxton, and then build around them. I would move some combination of our players with expensive contracts that aren’t likely to be key parts of a team that contends 2022-2024  - Donaldson, Cruz, Pineda, Simmons, Kepler - and use the money to sign to guys who will have to be around for us to be contenders in the 2022 - 2024 timeframe, Berrios and Buxton. Personally, I’d like to see them keep Nelson Cruz around because he’s such a key part of the batting order and I would like them to re-sign Michael Pineda because I think he’s a solid number three or number four starter, and trade the other three. No matter what you do, I think that to have any chance of resigning Barrios or Buxton you have to be willing to commit to $20,000,000+ a year to Berrios and $15-$20 million a year to Buxton (and those numbers be low).

The path to success for the Twins Is to the anchor of the team around 3-5 “veteran” established players and surround them with younger guys on the way up. Your best chance to do that is to have two of those core guys be Berrios and Buxton, or at least Berrios, along with Maeda, Rogers and Polanco. Signing Berrios and Buxton is really the key to us contending over the next few years. Trading Donaldson is a good way to free up the money to try to sign those guys (same logic for Cruz, Pineda, Kepler, Simmons). To me, that’s why you trade Donaldson.

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Personally I think Donaldson should be kept if the Twins plan to compete next year. I see no reason for the Twins to NOT try to compete next year so they should hang onto him. They have enough to pay Berrios and Buxton starting in 2023 with extensions if they pay them a little less in their first year of the deal to offset for Donaldson's contract or depending on how they tackle FA over the next two years. With so many young position players coming up on their cheap rookie contracts they should be able to make it work. Donaldson has the option/buyout for 2024 that will work itself out based on his play. 

If Miranda continues playing on fire I could see Donaldson being moved to create space for Miranda/Arraez at third base but ONLY if it is for something of value in return and NOT just a salary dump. Hard to see which teams are really interested in a deal though.

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LA Vikes fan is correct and the team to trade him to is the Mets.  The Mets are in "MUST-WIN" mode.  It matters NOT what you get for JD.  You move him to jettison the salary so you can resign Buxton/Berrios and/or look to shore up other areas of need.  Arraez would be fine for the remainder of this season (we are going nowhere anyway).  The Mets or Reds are the best options (Suarez is playing SS--even if he shouldn't be).  I would like to see many changes---Sano, Cruz, Simmons, Happ, Shoemaker, Pineda, Kepler, Garver, Arraez/Polanco, Robles, Colome---  Any of these guys should be considered as tradeable.  But I think the Twins should be reloading, NOT rebuilding.  

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I hope that after the trade deadline one of the big market teams claim him and takes the contract off our hands. I’m not worried about getting anything in return.  Then take the money and sign Berrios and Buxton.   The Twins would be legit contenders for a while. 

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48 minutes ago, Linus said:

I hope that after the trade deadline one of the big market teams claim him and takes the contract off our hands. I’m not worried about getting anything in return.  Then take the money and sign Berrios and Buxton.   The Twins would be legit contenders for a while. 

Hard to argue this point.   IMO, it would take at least $60M annually to get extensions with Berrios / Buxton and Rodgers so they would have $80M invested in 4 players for 2023.  Seems like a bad plan.  Unfortunately, I think they would have to take $10M annually back to trade Donaldson.  That means they would have $70M tied up in 3 players.  Can they even think about signing a front of the rotation guy ($25M) if they could get one to come?  That would be $95M in 4 players.   

In the event we managed to completely rebuild the BP next year and 2-3 pitching prospects fill out the rotation well enough for us to make the playoffs and we fill the void left by Donaldson and Buxton stays healthy and we make the playoffs ... Will a 1/2 of Berrios and Maeda matchup against most playoff teams? 

  

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21 hours ago, LA VIkes Fan said:

Guys, this isn’t about whether or not Donaldson is replaceable. That’s short term thinking about this year. It’s possible we may contend this year but it sure doesn’t look very likely.

The reason you trade Donaldson Is to free up payroll so that you can sign Jose Berrios or Byron Buxton for the next three or four years. It is much more important to the Twins to have one or both of those guys playing, with a Arraez, Polanco, Sano or Miranda playing third, then it is to lose one or both of those guys at the end of next year because you’re not willing to commit to another $20 million plus a year contract. That is what it’s going to take to sign Berrios at least, probably the same for Buxton. Thinking about the next 1 to 3 years, rather than just this year, leads me to the inescapable conclusion that that money is better spent keeping Berrios (Buxton if you can’t get Berrios to sign) than having Donaldson. Same logic goes for Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda,  and Simmons. 
 

To me, the bottom line is that if the Twins think they can resign Berrios and/or Buxton and need to move an expensive contract to do so, trade Donaldson for whatever you can get for him. Move Arraez in is the every day third baseman for now and give Miranda a shot. The key to having a competitive team next year and the next two or three years there after is going to be keeping our only real front line starting pitcher, Berrios, and the one difference maker in the field, Buxton, and then build around them. I would move some combination of our players with expensive contracts that aren’t likely to be key parts of a team that contends 2022-2024  - Donaldson, Cruz, Pineda, Simmons, Kepler - and use the money to sign to guys who will have to be around for us to be contenders in the 2022 - 2024 timeframe, Berrios and Buxton. Personally, I’d like to see them keep Nelson Cruz around because he’s such a key part of the batting order and I would like them to re-sign Michael Pineda because I think he’s a solid number three or number four starter, and trade the other three. No matter what you do, I think that to have any chance of resigning Barrios or Buxton you have to be willing to commit to $20,000,000+ a year to Berrios and $15-$20 million a year to Buxton (and those numbers be low).

The path to success for the Twins Is to the anchor of the team around 3-5 “veteran” established players and surround them with younger guys on the way up. Your best chance to do that is to have two of those core guys be Berrios and Buxton, or at least Berrios, along with Maeda, Rogers and Polanco. Signing Berrios and Buxton is really the key to us contending over the next few years. Trading Donaldson is a good way to free up the money to try to sign those guys (same logic for Cruz, Pineda, Kepler, Simmons). To me, that’s why you trade Donaldson.

The key to having a competitive team next year and the next two or three years there after is going to be keeping our only real front line starting pitcher, Berrios, and the one difference maker in the field, Buxton, and then build around them.

You’re right on with this assessment.

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I don't think Donaldson will go anywhere. An outside possibility is the Yankees. They are ranked 29th at 1B. I think Voit is coming back from an injury but they might not want to wait to find out if he's going to be ok. 

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3 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Hard to argue this point.   IMO, it would take at least $60M annually to get extensions with Berrios / Buxton and Rodgers so they would have $80M invested in 4 players for 2023.  Seems like a bad plan.  Unfortunately, I think they would have to take $10M annually back to trade Donaldson.  That means they would have $70M tied up in 3 players.  Can they even think about signing a front of the rotation guy ($25M) if they could get one to come?  That would be $95M in 4 players.   

In the event we managed to completely rebuild the BP next year and 2-3 pitching prospects fill out the rotation well enough for us to make the playoffs and we fill the void left by Donaldson and Buxton stays healthy and we make the playoffs ... Will a 1/2 of Berrios and Maeda matchup against most playoff teams? 

  

Correct on the cash required to trade him. That’s why revocable waivers is our only way out. If someone claims him let him go for nothing. If you have to pay the contract down you just don’t get that much relief.  If you aren’t going to sign berrios et al then you are are rebuilding and don’t need Donaldson anyway  

 

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On 6/28/2021 at 4:16 PM, LA VIkes Fan said:

Guys, this isn’t about whether or not Donaldson is replaceable. That’s short term thinking about this year. It’s possible we may contend this year but it sure doesn’t look very likely.

The reason you trade Donaldson Is to free up payroll so that you can sign Jose Berrios or Byron Buxton for the next three or four years. It is much more important to the Twins to have one or both of those guys playing, with a Arraez, Polanco, Sano or Miranda playing third, then it is to lose one or both of those guys at the end of next year because you’re not willing to commit to another $20 million plus a year contract. That is what it’s going to take to sign Berrios at least, probably the same for Buxton. Thinking about the next 1 to 3 years, rather than just this year, leads me to the inescapable conclusion that that money is better spent keeping Berrios (Buxton if you can’t get Berrios to sign) than having Donaldson. Same logic goes for Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda,  and Simmons. 
 

To me, the bottom line is that if the Twins think they can resign Berrios and/or Buxton and need to move an expensive contract to do so, trade Donaldson for whatever you can get for him. Move Arraez in is the every day third baseman for now and give Miranda a shot. The key to having a competitive team next year and the next two or three years there after is going to be keeping our only real front line starting pitcher, Berrios, and the one difference maker in the field, Buxton, and then build around them. I would move some combination of our players with expensive contracts that aren’t likely to be key parts of a team that contends 2022-2024  - Donaldson, Cruz, Pineda, Simmons, Kepler - and use the money to sign to guys who will have to be around for us to be contenders in the 2022 - 2024 timeframe, Berrios and Buxton. Personally, I’d like to see them keep Nelson Cruz around because he’s such a key part of the batting order and I would like them to re-sign Michael Pineda because I think he’s a solid number three or number four starter, and trade the other three. No matter what you do, I think that to have any chance of resigning Barrios or Buxton you have to be willing to commit to $20,000,000+ a year to Berrios and $15-$20 million a year to Buxton (and those numbers be low).

The path to success for the Twins Is to the anchor of the team around 3-5 “veteran” established players and surround them with younger guys on the way up. Your best chance to do that is to have two of those core guys be Berrios and Buxton, or at least Berrios, along with Maeda, Rogers and Polanco. Signing Berrios and Buxton is really the key to us contending over the next few years. Trading Donaldson is a good way to free up the money to try to sign those guys (same logic for Cruz, Pineda, Kepler, Simmons). To me, that’s why you trade Donaldson.

I mean, I'm with you if you can get another team to take on that contract. My guess though, is that the Twins have to eat a large portion of it to move him. In fact, I would guess, that no team takes him even if they don't have to give up a player at all unless the Twins eat a pile of money. 

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If 2022 is a year in which the Twins can compete for a division crown (I think they can, but that doesn't matter) they should not trade JD. He may or may not be in decline, but he is still a fairly productive player who can contribute to a winning team.

If 2022 is a gap year as the Twins reload or rebuild - that's a different context in which the decision to move on from JD makes more sense.

Sad really, as a life-long Twins fan the cost of players almost always restricts the Twins' FO into thinking small - looking for bargains and angles. (Or gives them the excuse to do so.)

Just once it would be nice to hear the Twins FO say we will do and spend what is needed to compete for a World Series and then act assertively upon that claim. 

Sigh.

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I don't like trading Donaldson. 

He is an impact player and a statement of intent. As successful as they are, the Twins shouldn't try to be the Rays or A's where nobody gets paid. If Berrios Or Buxton or Kirriloff or Larnach etc etc see their free agency coming and the organization is not paying anyone real money why do they even think about committing themselves to the team. Imagine being a Glasnow type player and knowing that the better you perform the more likely it will be that you are traded away and regress outside of the successful environment. Look at Snell- underutilised to promote trade value, and not allowed to become a star in Tampa. Gets traded to the Padres and underperforms, ultimately looking bad.

Then look at it like you are a free agent. You've battled through arbitration and are ready to sign get paid, play for a contender, and have security going forward. That doesn't work if you are worried that two years in they will dump you for little reason and you play out your contract somewhere you didn't choose. 

Trade someone when their value is high or in the last months of a contract. Trading Donaldson when his value is highest for the Twins is nonsensical. You eat the money, get nothing back, and hurt your reputation. His calf specialist in in Minnesota meaning his injuries are probably best managed here. Plus the Twins don't have a natural thirdbaseman without him. 

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9 minutes ago, BritishTwinsFan said:

I don't like trading Donaldson. 

He is an impact player and a statement of intent. As successful as they are, the Twins shouldn't try to be the Rays or A's where nobody gets paid. If Berrios Or Buxton or Kirriloff or Larnach etc etc see their free agency coming and the organization is not paying anyone real money why do they even think about committing themselves to the team. Imagine being a Glasnow type player and knowing that the better you perform the more likely it will be that you are traded away and regress outside of the successful environment. Look at Snell- underutilised to promote trade value, and not allowed to become a star in Tampa. Gets traded to the Padres and underperforms, ultimately looking bad.

Then look at it like you are a free agent. You've battled through arbitration and are ready to sign get paid, play for a contender, and have security going forward. That doesn't work if you are worried that two years in they will dump you for little reason and you play out your contract somewhere you didn't choose. 

Trade someone when their value is high or in the last months of a contract. Trading Donaldson when his value is highest for the Twins is nonsensical. You eat the money, get nothing back, and hurt your reputation. His calf specialist in in Minnesota meaning his injuries are probably best managed here. Plus the Twins don't have a natural thirdbaseman without him. 

Free agents go for the money. It isn't about competing for a championship (for guys signing their fist FA deal, not older, older, players). If there is a tie, it probably matters, but not as much as proximity to family or other things. 

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On 6/28/2021 at 11:15 PM, Seansy said:

Personally I think Donaldson should be kept if the Twins plan to compete next year. I see no reason for the Twins to NOT try to compete next year so they should hang onto him. They have enough to pay Berrios and Buxton starting in 2023 with extensions if they pay them a little less in their first year of the deal to offset for Donaldson's contract or depending on how they tackle FA over the next two years. With so many young position players coming up on their cheap rookie contracts they should be able to make it work. Donaldson has the option/buyout for 2024 that will work itself out based on his play. 

If Miranda continues playing on fire I could see Donaldson being moved to create space for Miranda/Arraez at third base but ONLY if it is for something of value in return and NOT just a salary dump. Hard to see which teams are really interested in a deal though.

I think the Twins should try to trade Donaldson as 1)risk mitigation and 2)they could use that money for pitching. The Twins offense is in pretty good shape (though losing a bat as capable as Donaldson always hurts) while their pitching staff is pretty close to "in shambles" territory.

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I'm a little more optimistic on Donaldson.  I don't want to punt on next season and we can keep both Buxton and Berrios for next season.  

Donaldson has hit 30% better than league average remember the ball is deadened this season.  "Supposedly" That is even better than his season in Atlanta when he hit 37 HRs.  I think he can keep it up for another season.  He may slow down some or he may need some extra days at either 1B or DH but Donaldson could still handle third base next season for 70-80% of his games played if healthy.  He can take over for Cruz and or Sano at DH after next season when Sano comes off the books.  I think Donaldson provides way more value than Sano at just a few million more.  I think Sano's option is for around 13-14 million isn't it?  The big bummer is Donaldson's 8 million guarantee or 16 million guarantee the 5th season of the deal.  We can worry about that when we get there..... (Miranda will still be pre-arbitration so its not like we are killing the budget with an 8 million buyout that last season).  So wehn looking at Donaldsons contract he is a 21/22 million per season then 8 million buyout in year 3 or 16 million player.  up to management to decide.... 

The Question for next season is who else will be starting pitching for Minnesota?  We have Berrios and Maeda.  We can have Dobnak since he will be on year 2 of a 5 year contract.  Can we resign Pineda?  is Gibson or another pitcher available?  Will Ober, Smeltzer, Thorpe capable of holding the 5th spot in the rotation?  Can we find another starting pitcher for trade or FA next offseason?  That and the bullpen is where we need to focus IMO.  

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On 6/28/2021 at 2:16 PM, LA VIkes Fan said:

Guys, this isn’t about whether or not Donaldson is replaceable. That’s short term thinking about this year. It’s possible we may contend this year but it sure doesn’t look very likely.

The reason you trade Donaldson Is to free up payroll so that you can sign Jose Berrios or Byron Buxton for the next three or four years. It is much more important to the Twins to have one or both of those guys playing, with a Arraez, Polanco, Sano or Miranda playing third, then it is to lose one or both of those guys at the end of next year because you’re not willing to commit to another $20 million plus a year contract. That is what it’s going to take to sign Berrios at least, probably the same for Buxton. Thinking about the next 1 to 3 years, rather than just this year, leads me to the inescapable conclusion that that money is better spent keeping Berrios (Buxton if you can’t get Berrios to sign) than having Donaldson. Same logic goes for Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda,  and Simmons. 
 

To me, the bottom line is that if the Twins think they can resign Berrios and/or Buxton and need to move an expensive contract to do so, trade Donaldson for whatever you can get for him. Move Arraez in is the every day third baseman for now and give Miranda a shot. The key to having a competitive team next year and the next two or three years there after is going to be keeping our only real front line starting pitcher, Berrios, and the one difference maker in the field, Buxton, and then build around them. I would move some combination of our players with expensive contracts that aren’t likely to be key parts of a team that contends 2022-2024  - Donaldson, Cruz, Pineda, Simmons, Kepler - and use the money to sign to guys who will have to be around for us to be contenders in the 2022 - 2024 timeframe, Berrios and Buxton. Personally, I’d like to see them keep Nelson Cruz around because he’s such a key part of the batting order and I would like them to re-sign Michael Pineda because I think he’s a solid number three or number four starter, and trade the other three. No matter what you do, I think that to have any chance of resigning Barrios or Buxton you have to be willing to commit to $20,000,000+ a year to Berrios and $15-$20 million a year to Buxton (and those numbers be low).

The path to success for the Twins Is to the anchor of the team around 3-5 “veteran” established players and surround them with younger guys on the way up. Your best chance to do that is to have two of those core guys be Berrios and Buxton, or at least Berrios, along with Maeda, Rogers and Polanco. Signing Berrios and Buxton is really the key to us contending over the next few years. Trading Donaldson is a good way to free up the money to try to sign those guys (same logic for Cruz, Pineda, Kepler, Simmons). To me, that’s why you trade Donaldson.

Donaldson has what 2 years on his contract?  so when you do an extension with Berrios and Buxton you backload the deal a little.  5 year 18,18,20,22,22 per season for both for example.  I hope the Twins will be able to increase payroll moving forward.  Maybe not next season but after that....

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