Third baseman Josh Donaldson of Pensacola, FL officially signed a four year deal with the Minnesota Twins worth $92 million on Wednesday. The Twins now become Donaldson’s fifth Major League Baseball team as he has previously played with the Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves.
Considered one of the elite third basemen in the game today, Donaldson was the 2015 American League most valuable player. That season while with the Blue Jays, he led the junior circuit with 123 runs batted in, 352 total bases and 10 sacrifice flies. He also led Major League Baseball with 122 runs scored in 2015.
Injuries have played its toll on Donaldson in recent years. His ailments include a hip injury, a right calf strain, dead arm syndrome, shoulder inflammation and a left calf strain.
In 2018 with the Indians and Blue Jays, Donaldson only batted .246 in 52 games. However in 2019, Donaldson had a comeback season in Atlanta as he was reunited with general manager Alex Anthopoulos, as the two were together in Toronto. Donaldson was even named the 2019 National League Comeback Player of the Year.
Last season, Donaldson batted .259 with 37 home runs and 94 runs batted in. Also in 155 games and 549 at bats, Donaldson had 659 plate appearances, scored 96 runs and had 142 hits, 33 doubles, four stolen bases, 100 walks, a .379 on base percentage, .521 slugging percentage, 286 total bases and two sacrifice flies.
There is no doubt that Donaldson will be Minnesota’s everyday third baseman. Expect Miguel Sano of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic to play minimal time at third base and be used more regularly at designated hitter or first base. In 2019, Sano played 91 games at the hot corner.
The Twins lost two infielders to free agency in the offseason. First baseman C.J. Cron of Fullerton, CA and second baseman Jonathan Schoop of Willemstad, Curacao, each signed with the Detroit Tigers.
With the loss of Donaldson, it is expected that Johan Camargo of Panama City, Panama will be the Braves third baseman in 2020. Camargo batted .233 with seven home runs and 32 runs batted in during 2019.
The Twins are expected to contend for the American League Central title in 2020, and possibly score even more runs than the 939 they posted in 2019. With Donaldson at third base (if healthy), Minnesota will be once again dangerous offensively.