Twins, Donaldson finalize $92M deal, boost potent lineup

Sports

FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson throws to first for the out on Chicago White Sox’s Eloy Jimenez during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Atlanta. The Minnesota Twins and Donaldson have agreed to a four-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The contract includes an $8 million club option for 2024. The 34-year-old third baseman returned after an injury-spoiled 2018 to bat .259 with 37 homers and 94 RBIs last season. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins and third baseman Josh Donaldson finalized their four-year, $92 million contract Wednesday that is the richest in team history for a free agent.

Donaldson agreed last week to the deal that includes a club option for a fifth season. The 34-year-old will make $21 million per season. For 2024, the Twins can either retain him for $16 million or buy him out for $8 million.

The deal far surpassed the previous high-dollar mark for Minnesota on the open market, a four-year, $55 million deal for starting pitcher Ervin Santana that began in 2015. The Twins gave then-catcher Joe Mauer an eight-year, $184 million contract in 2010, but that was an in-house extension that kicked in the following season.

Donaldson batted .259 with 33 doubles, 37 home runs, 96 runs, 94 RBIs and 100 walks in 155 games for Atlanta in 2019. The 2015 American League MVP award winner with Toronto, Donaldson brings 219 career homers to a lineup that was already one of the deepest in baseball. The Twins set the all-time major league record with 307 homers in 2019.

The Twins also pursued Donaldson for his ability to upgrade the infield defense that was a relative weakness last year. His arrival will move Miguel Sanó across the diamond to first base.

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