According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the only player the Minnesota Twins will have to worry about potentially going to arbitration with this winter is starting pitcher Jose Berrios. This is because the team and infielder Miguel Sano have signed a three-year extension with a club option for the 2023 season.
The terms of the deal were not immediately known and the team has not yet confirmed the deal with Sano, who was previously eligible for free agency following the 2021 season.
Sano’s arbitration projection for the 2020 season was $5.9 million, so on a deal covering 2020-22 with a ’23 option, it’d possibly look something like this:
- 2020: $8 million
- 2021: $12 million
- 2022: $15 million
- 2023 (option): $18 million
This is just a best guess, but maybe three years, $35 million with an $18 million option? That’d bring the total deal to four years, $53 million.
UPDATE: Passan reports that the deal is for $30 million guaranteed. There’s $27 million in salary over the first three years and the buyout on the 20203 option is $3 million. That option is for $14 million, meaning the deal’s max value would be four years and $41 million.
The Twins have possibly the lowest total of future payroll obligations across the entire big leagues. With Sano signed through possibly 2023, that would make him, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco the only Twins with hard-committed dollars through the 2022 season. Kepler and Polanco both signed extensions last spring training to keep them in Minnesota through the 2023 season.
According to Cot’s Contracts, the Twins only have $21.108 million hard committed for 2021, $11.75 million for 2022, $16 million for 2023 and $1 million — a possible Kepler buyout — for 2024. That’s just a shade under $50 million total in future commitments — less than the White Sox agreed to pay Dallas Keuchel this offseason on a three-year deal ($55.5 million).
Sano experienced an offensive resurrection in 2019. Despite not making his season debut until May 16 due to a heel laceration suffered in the offseason, Sano hit 34 home runs in 105 games — a 53-homer pace over 162 games — with an overall slash line of .247/.346/.576. Sano’s 137 wRC+ was his best mark since his rookie season (149), and he managed to improve his walk rate and drop his strikeout rate from a tough 2018 season in which he hit .199/.281/.398.
This deal will take Sano through his age-29 season without the option.