Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • Miguel Sanó’s Looming Return


    Cody Christie

    Miguel Sanó was off to a horrendous start before a knee injury pushed him to the injured list. Now he is nearing a return, and the Twins will have to decide what that means for his future with the club.

    Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today Sports

    Twins Video

     

    Throughout his career, Miguel Sano has been a streaky hitter. There are times he looks lost at the plate and other times when he seems to be one of the game’s top power hitters. This streakiness can be frustrating for fans, but he has been an above-average hitter throughout his career with a 117 OPS+ and four seasons with 25 home runs or more. He strikes out a lot and doesn’t offer much defensively, but there’s no question that he is a good hitter when he is healthy. 

    Something clearly wasn’t right with Sanó to start the 2022 campaign. In 17 games, he hit .093/.231/.148 (.379) with 21 strikeouts, and four of his five hits were singles. Typically, Sanó feasts on fastballs as he had a .653 slugging percentage versus that pitch in 2021. So far this season, pitchers were able to overpower Sanó with fastballs as he struck out nine times when facing that pitch. He provided negative value to the team, and his knee injury pushed him to the sidelines for multiple months.  

    Near the end of June, Sanó began building up some of his baseball activities, which points to him being closer to a return. He has been completing running exercises and starting to hit, including live batting practice. His knee surgery took place on May 5; the typical recovery time is 4 to 8 weeks. It’s expected that he will need to make multiple rehab starts before rejoining the Twins roster, so that will give the club time to decide how he fits into the team’s plans. 

    Even with Sanó’s looming return, there’s currently no clear path for him to have consistent playing time. Minnesota has been rotating through younger players at first base like Alex Kirilloff, Jose Miranda, and Luis Arreaz. All three of these players are part of the team’s long-term core, and it would be tough to justify taking playing time away from them. Obviously, poor play or another injury may play into the equation, but Sanó’s future with the club isn’t clear anymore. 

    At the season’s end, the front office will need to decide whether to pick up Sanó’s $14 million team option or pay him a $2.75 million buyout. It seems unlikely for the team to exercise his option even if he returns to his former power-hitting ways. There will be other cheaper options for the team at first base, and Sanó may be looking for a new organization for the first time since he was a teenager. 

    How do you think Sanó will fit back on the roster? Can he still provide value to the club? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

     

    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums
    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    — Become a Twins Daily Caretaker

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Featured Comments

    I think the 2 most likely things are a trade or a DFA.  A trade to a mid-level club that needs to cover injuries or a low level club the could use him and packaged with a prospect or two, bring back some relieve pitching.  What is left of his price tag is not the great and the end of July, so he could have some value at that time. 

    The good news is it will probably be close to the end of July before he is ready to play, so the timing is decent, otherwise you are looking at a DFA.  Surely some club like San Diego could use hm and an outfielder, to bring back pitching. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Barring injury, he'll fit very nicely...in a trade package.  As a single piece in a trade, the Twins might get some other org's #15-#25 prospect IF the Twins send the buyout money as well.  Am I undervaluing Sano?  I'm just over waiting for him to be the next Miguel Cabrera that we all hoped he would be.

    I'd love for him to be on the team and have his signature August/September hot streak.  I just think it's less likely than ever after sitting out with injury.  And we can't afford to give him a month of at bats waiting for his bat to catch up to MLB pitching.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hate to see Sano go. But he could be great in trade to give us pitching that the twins desperately need especially bullpen help. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I seriously doubt they would get much in trade for Sano - he's 29, has some history of injury issues, and he's limited in what he can do. That said, I don't see any future for him, as Miranda and Kirilloff are younger and cheaper. Some people fear Sano will be another David Ortiz, but Ortiz was 26 and coming off a year with an .836 OPS when he landed in Boston. Sano's OPS the last two years was .757 and .778 - and then, of course, there is this year's .379. Trade him if you can, or DFA if you can't. If he turns into a different player in his 30s (highly doubt it), so be it.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I like Sanó probably a lot more than most Twins fans, but it's definitely time to move on. He's just not worth $14 mil unless he has no cold streak for an entire season (which he's never done) and the Twins are lousy with 1B/DH types that are a lot cheaper and have much more long-term upside. Would be great if he could come back and show enough in limited time to net pretty much anything in a trade, but it looks like the most likely scenario is extremely limited playing time and an ignominious buyout at the end of the season. Bummer to see his Twins tenure end like this, but such is the business I guess.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    First he needs to get to rehab. That could be a few weeks away. He will need the full rehab and show he has his stroke. That could be after the deadline. I think he will return and be the Sano we saw in the second half. That Sano helps the team.

    Is there a place for that Sano? Absolutely. Look back at the last 10 games. You will find a couple games that a catcher was DH. You will find Gordon starting several games in LF with Kirilloff at 1B. Sano could have slotted in for any of those games. Urshela doesn’t need to play every day.

    There is a place on this team for another corner bat. Sano can bring that bat. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Along minor league rehab would be great especially if he looks really good in the rehab. Then we have some value, but not very much. It's not just twins daily readers will have seen him flail too many times.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Pretty clear..everyone feels it's time to cut him loose and I agree. There's really no spot for him anymore. Hope they can trade him for someone. It's not worth benching any current player for the infrequent homeruns he might hit amidst the k's and just so-so 'd'. Time to go.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    There will clearly be the need to make a decision on Sano in the off-season. It doesn't look like they will pick up the option because of options inside the organization and cheaper just as productive options outside the organization. 

    But... for the rest of this year. When he is ready to come off the 60 day. A Strotman or a Godoy will come off the 40 man to make room and Sano will return to our dugout. He will share playing time with others. Nobody will have to sit extensively to work him in and if he gets on one of his hot streaks, we will sing his praises. If he stays on a cold streak... we have others to turn to. 

    I am looking forward to his return. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It would be nice if he could rediscover his power stroke but it's hard to imagine him supplanting one of the younger guys platooning at 1B unless he suddenly had an OPS north of .750 (in 2019 - the year the Twins hit 307 dingers - Sano hit 34 in only 105 games). However, the Twins need to be realistic and budget conscious. He's not worth $14M. They need to put their money toward one or more reliable relievers.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I've been advocating the Twins trade him for 3-years.  Now it appears that others have simply moved past him on the Twins depth chart.  The only question left to answer is "can the Twins actually get anything of value for him?" 

    Sano currently carries a negative trade value (-8.5 on MLB Trade Values).  But I would argue that he "has" value to certain teams.  The question then is how much ?  A team like the Rockies has always been an intriguing destination for Sano.  That power, in that ballpark ?

    The Padres need "juice" in their lineup.  Hosmer, after a torrid start is reverting to "Hosmer" once again.  He's a punch-less Judy at the plate.  Are there negative assets the Padres have that could benefit the Twins?  The Orioles or Red Sox could see some benefit from Sano, especially if JD Martinez and Trey Mancini get traded.  

    I just don't see any place for Sano on this team any longer.  He may be too difficult to trade this year so he may get some DH AB's.  But come 2023 his buyout will happen and he'll be gone for sure.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Sad story. To hear the guys in the booth say that Sano just refuses to hit the other way like Cabrera does is disappointing. Trying to pull every pitch and failing should tell the young man he has to change. But several have mentioned he won't change. Send to st Paul to sell a few tickets Then part ways.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    46 minutes ago, Riverbrian said:

    There will clearly be the need to make a decision on Sano in the off-season. It doesn't look like they will pick up the option because of options inside the organization and cheaper just as productive options outside the organization. 

    But... for the rest of this year. When he is ready to come off the 60 day. A Strotman or a Godoy will come off the 40 man to make room and Sano will return to our dugout. He will share playing time with others. Nobody will have to sit extensively to work him in and if he gets on one of this hot streaks, we will sing his praises. If he stays on a cold streak... we have others to turn to. 

    I am looking forward to his return. 

    Moving someone off the 40-man is easy.  Making room on the 26-man means Miranda or Kirilloff need to go down.  They have a dilemma if he crushes it for 20 days in AAA.  However, do you want to swap Kirilloff or Miranda for him if he looks anywhere near as bad as he did when he got injured.  This is going to be interesting.  

    My guess is that he is leaving the organization at the end of his rehab stint.  Under what terms depends on how well he plays during those 20 days.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    7 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

    Moving someone off the 40-man is easy.  Making room on the 26-man means Miranda or Kirilloff need to go down.  They have a dilemma if he crushes it for 20 days in AAA.  However, do you want to swap Kirilloff or Miranda for him if he looks anywhere near as bad as he did when he got injured.  This is going to be interesting.  

    My guess is that he is leaving the organization at the end of his rehab stint.  Under what terms depends on how well he plays during those 20 days.  

    You man not need to make that decision. Often times the decision is made for you with an injury. 

    If it was today and my decision. It would reluctantly be Garlick. 

    It would be Garlick because he has an option and he is playing less than others on the roster. 

    Now... I don't personally believe that Garlick should be playing less but that's another subject. 

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Maybe they can trade Sano to the Padres for a pitcher or two. If they have anyone left like Pagan and/or Paddock it might be close to and even trade. Seriously tho, I've been wanting him gone for 2 years now. Let him rehab in AAA and if a trade hasn't been worked out by the end of his rehab, DFA him. No big loss if another team takes him, and if they don't he can stay in AAA and then be available to be brought up in an emergency situation. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Best case scenario is he gets hot on rehab, and the Twins can garner some interest from a middle contending team looking for this year's Jorge Soler. Probably best return they could expect is a middle-rank relief rental (which we could desperately use), or a low-grade prospect. Helps the team by easing a roster crisis, helps Sano by giving him the change of scenery he probably needs at this point.

    Most likely scenario is a mixed rehab, no market interest, and the Twins carrying him for at least a while to see if he catches fire.

    But we shouldn't hold our breath. Sure (as the OP says) his career OPS+ of 117 makes him an above average hitter in MLB, but it represents an average to poor OPS+ for a bat-premium position like 1B. (Ex: Matt Olson just dropped out of Bleacher Reports' Top Ten 1B, in part because of his lowly 128 OPS+.)

    To make it worse, Sano's 117 is mostly a product of his early career. He has only matched his career OPS+ in one of the last 5 seasons (including this one; the outlier was 2019's juiced baseball season).

    It's likely he peaked years ago. It's also likely we'll have to put up with at least a few weeks of him taking at-bats from better players. (Though if he keeps Jeffers from ever DHing again this season, I guess that's something.)

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    About Buxton's HR, he said he put an half swing on that pitch and may sure he had put the barrel on the ball. That's what Sano needs to do, He's so strong & quick he can put any ball out of the park w/o even trying. But Sano has been bitten by the "moonblast bug" like so many Twins that have been encouraged by management. There has been so many wrong mindsets in this org. and slowly they are being changed. There has been some sparkle of hope for Sano but I'm afraid the bite of the "moonblast bug" for Sano is fatal.

    Like TopGun has said Sano's trade value is negative so a trade is not worth considering.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It’s easy. after his rehab starts at AAA, evaluate Sanyo’s performance.  If he is hitting well and cutting his strike-outs just a little, Sano can be a big help on the bench and as a DH.   If he is lousy, or even mediocre, cut ties. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Time to move on from Sano in my opinion. A)This is NOT a David Ortiz scenario, Miguel has had plenty of time to improve and become a consistent hitter and defensive player. B) The Twins young players, Miranda, Kiriloff, and Larnach have all shown more skill as hitters and defenders than Sano. Sitting any of those 3 so Sano gets AB's this year makes no sense. Time to move on.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I’m not sure why he is being written off so quickly by so many people. Sano at his best is a better hitter than anyone on the roster. We can’t pretend there is no room for him when the DH for 3 of the Cleveland games was Kyle Garlick or Gary Sánchez. 
     

    The problem is we haven’t seen his best often enough recently. Let’s at least see how his rehab assignment goes. There’s zero reason to write him off beforehand. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

    First he needs to get to rehab. That could be a few weeks away. He will need the full rehab and show he has his stroke. That could be after the deadline. I think he will return and be the Sano we saw in the second half. That Sano helps the team.

    Is there a place for that Sano? Absolutely. Look back at the last 10 games. You will find a couple games that a catcher was DH. You will find Gordon starting several games in LF with Kirilloff at 1B. Sano could have slotted in for any of those games. Urshela doesn’t need to play every day.

    There is a place on this team for another corner bat. Sano can bring that bat. 

    You're living in the past..live in the now! We have better and cheaper talent the Miggy smalls. Miranda, Kirlloff, and "Larch" when he gets better. The future is here.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 minute ago, Mortimerkenny21 said:

    You're living in the past..live in the now! We have better and cheaper talent the Miggy smalls. Miranda, Kirlloff, and "Larch" when he gets better. The future is here.

    Why is cheap part of the equation? He is paid for the year. I am not interested in next year. I would not close the door on his bat as I believe he can help the last two months.

    Last year in the second half among Twins with over 200 plate appearances Sano’s OPS was second on the team at .847. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I would have him take as long as he can on the rehab games in St. Paul, unless there is an injury on MLB level opening a spot  back up.  If he looks like he could contribute then I would let him get a spot back, but if continues to struggle you see if a team will take him, and we pay the rest of the season and buy out, and see if we can get anything in return for him pen pitcher wise.  

    Very few teams will want to bring him in though.  Playoff teams that need 1B or DH may take a chance on him, but will not give up much in return.  Non playoff teams will not want to take him on unless it is for a see what he can do for us and maybe pick up his option thing, but again will not give up much for him.  His value is at all time low.  Most likely he gets DFA unless he comes out hot in rehab starts. 

    He is the type that if hot could carry a team in the playoffs, but that is rare for him. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 minute ago, jorgenswest said:

    Why is cheap part of the equation? He is paid for the year. I am not interested in next year.

    I am interested in next year, and this year I think those 3 guys can pull the weight of Sano..if not better. I know he has a buyout, but not paying him 14M for next year could desperately be used for pitching. IMO

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites




    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...