MLB insiders divided on Twins’ plans for Gary Sanchez after trade with Yankees


will he stay, or will he go?

That’s what the Minnesota Twins must decide after acquiring two-time All-Star wide receiver Gary Sanchez from the New York Yankees on Sunday in a five-man trade.

The Twins added Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela while sending third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and wide receiver Ben Rortvedt to New York.

In the moments following the exchange, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported “Minnesota #Twins wanted to void third baseman Josh Donaldson’s contract. He’s owed $50 million over the next two years, and now they’re trying to find a taker for receiver Gary Sanchez, who they have no interest in keeping.

However, a few minutes later, Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that “the twins are *not* returning Gary Sánchez, source says @TheAthletic. He will share time with Ryan Jeffers.


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Here are the details of Sunday’s Yankees PR trade:

The New York Yankees announced today that they have acquired INF Josh Donaldson, INF Isiah Kiner-Falefa and C Ben Rortvedt Minnesota Twins in exchange for C Gary Sanchez and INF Gio Urshela.

Donaldson. ’12-14), Toronto (2015-18), Cleveland (2018), Atlanta (2019) and Minnesota (2020-21). In 2021, he hit .247 (113 for 457) with 73R, 26 doubles, 26HR, 72RBI and 74BB in 135 games for the Twins.

The American League Most Valuable Player of 2015 is a three-time All-Star (2014-16) and two-time AL Silver Slugger Award winner (2015-16). He was also named 2019 NL Player of the Year with the Braves.

The right-handed hitter has hit at least 20 homers seven times in his career (2013-17, 19, 21) and at least 30HR four times (2015-17, 19). His seven 20HR seasons since 2013 are tied for fourth in the Majors over that span (Kyle Seager, Anthony Rizzo and Nelson Cruz each have eight). His 241 HR on that same stretch is the 10th highest in the Majors. He was one of six Major League players to reach at least 30 HR in each season from 2015 to 2017.

Donaldson has made the playoffs in seven of his last 10 seasons, batting .260 (39 for 150) with 19R, 11 doubles, 5HR, 16RBI and 15BB in 39 career playoff games.

The Pensacola, Florida native was originally selected in the first round (48th overall) of Auburn University’s 2007 Freshman Draft. He was acquired by Oakland along with RHP Sean Gallagher, OF Matt Murton and OF Eric Patterson in exchange for RHP Chad Gaudin and RHP Rich Harden on July 8, 2008. On November 28, 2014, Donaldson was acquired by Toronto from Oakland in exchange for INF Brett Lawrie, RHP Kendall Graveman, LHP Sean Nolin and INF Franklin Barreto. He was later acquired by Cleveland with cash consideration from the Toronto Blue Jays on August 31, 2018.

Kiner-Falefa26, batted .271 (172-for-635) with 74R, 25 doubles, 3 triples, 8HR, 53RBI, 28BB, 20SB, .312 on-base percentage and .670 OPS in 158 games for the Texas Rangers in 2021. He was just acquired by the Twins on Saturday along with the minor league right-handed pitcher Ronny Henriquez in exchange for receiver Mitch Garver.

Last season, the 5′11″, 190-pound infielder led Texas in games played, hits, triples (tied), stolen bases (20), multi-hit plays ( 44) and hits over threes (16) as the club’s primary shortstop. He also finished with career highs in several offensive categories, including home runs, RBIs and stolen bases. He also had the highest batting average among the Rangers playoffs, while leading Major League Baseball with 136 singles.

Originally drafted by Texas in the fourth round of the 2013 Freshman Player Draft at Mid-Pacific Institute High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, he hit .265 (372 for 1,404) with 168R, 59 doubles, 9 triples, 16HR, 118RBI, 84BB, 38SB, .316 on-base percentage and .670 OPS in 392 career Major League games, all with the Rangers. He will become the fifth Hawaii-born player in franchise history, joining pitchers Brian Fisher (1985-86) and Kirby Yates (2016) and position players Lenn Sakata (1987) and Bronson Sardinha (2007).

The 26-year-old won the 2020 Rawlings American League Golden Glove award at third base, as well as the 2020 Rangers Player of the Year award, as voted on by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He moved to shortstop in 2021 and posted a .972 fielding percentage (19E/669TC) at that position, leading Major League shortstops in total chances (669), assists (436 ) and rotated double plays (98). Kiner-Falefa also tied for third among MLB shortstops with 10 defensive points saved, according to The Fielding Bible, behind only Houston’s Carlos Correa (20) and Minnesota’s Andrelton Simmons (15). Additionally, he played in 73 career Major League games as a catcher, posting a .996 faceoff percentage in 586.0 innings behind the plate with just 2E and 8 passes.

Rortvedt, 24, saw his first Major League action of 2021, batting .169/229/.281 (15 for 89) with 8R 1 doubles, 3 homers and 7RBI in 39 games played, including 28 starts. Selected by Minnesota in the second round (56th overall) of the 2016 Freshman Draft; the Wisconsin native hit .241/.316/.355 (271 for 1,123) with 122R, 57 doubles, 4 trebles, 21HR, 134RBI and 108BB in 325 minor league games. Previously invited to the last three spring training sessions by Minnesota, he was named the best defensive receiver in the Twins’ minor league system by Baseball America after the 2019 season.

Sanchez, 29, hit .230 (444 for 1,932) with 299R, 78 doubles, 2 triples, 138HR, 340RBI and 220BB in 538 career games over seven Major League seasons, all with the Yankees (2015-21 ). A two-time All-Star (2017, ’19) and winner of the 2017 AL Silver Slugger Award, he hit .204 (78 for 383) with 54R, 13 doubles, 1 triple, 23HR, 54RBI and 52BB in his last 117 games. season. His 138 career HR is fifth most by a player in 538 career games, behind only Ryan Howard (163), Aaron Judge (147), Eddie Mathews (141) and Ralph Kiner (140). The Santo Domingo, DR, native was originally signed by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent on July 2, 2009.

Urshela, 30, hit .271 (401 for 1,479) with 185R, 79 doubles, 3 triples, 49HR, 192RBI and 91BB in 458 career games during six Major League seasons with Cleveland (2015, ’17), Toronto (2018) and the Yankees (2019-21). In 2021, the right-handed hitter hit .267 (112 for 420) with 42R, 18 doubles, 2 triples, 14HR, 49RBI and 20BB in 116 games. The Cartagena, Colombia native was acquired by the Toronto Yankees in exchange for cash on August 4, 2018. He was originally signed by Cleveland as an undrafted free agent on July 2, 2008.

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Mike Rosenstein can be reached at [email protected].


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