The New York Yankees acquired former MVP Josh Donaldson from the Minnesota Twins.
The New York Yankees kicked off Spring Training with a signature sneaky deal, courtesy of general manager Brian Cashman.
In the deal, catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela will go to the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees will receive third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Isaiah Kiner-Falefa. Longtime MLB insider Jon Heyman was first with the news, with ESPN’s Jeff Passan adding further details.
Yanks get Josh Donaldson and Kiner-Falefa in deal for Urshela and Sanchez
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 14, 2022
BREAKING: The New York Yankees are finalizing a deal to acquire third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa from Minnesota, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 14, 2022
This almost certainly means DJ LeMahieu is the new first baseman, and Luke Voit will be traded fairly shortly.
Donaldson slugged 26 home runs for the Twins last year, and Kiner-Falefa was just acquired from the Texas Rangers over the weekend. As part of the deal, the Yankees also took on all of Donaldson’s remaining salary, about $42 million.
The Yankees also received lefty-hitting catcher Ben Rortvedt in the deal. He played in 39 games for the Twins last year, and Jack Curry of the YES Network said the current plan is to platoon him with Kyle Higashioka.
Right now, the Yankee plan is to platoon Rortvedt, a LHB, and the righty-hitting Higgy at catcher. We will see if they make any other moves, but that’s the current plan.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) March 14, 2022
It truly is the end of an era. Gary Sanchez was once one of the most exciting Yankees players, debuting with fellow Baby Bomber Aaron Judge. He hit 138 home runs since debuting in 2015, but his bat fell off a cliff starting in 2018 and never recovered. He hit just .201 over the last four seasons, struggled with injuries, and struck out way too much.
But on the whole, this balances the lineup. Josh Donaldson still makes great contact with the ball despite his age, and Kiner-Falefa’s contact approach balances out the lineup.
And to Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela, thanks for the memories. We had some great times, but it’s time to move on.
The Yankees are nowhere close to being done making deals, so stay tuned to ESNY for more updates!