Talk about March madness.
Front offices dream of executing the perfect offseason plan, but those aspirations rarely come to fruition because of the complexities of free agency and trades and the need to adjust on the fly. With the signing of Carlos Correa, this year’s top free agent, to a three-year, $105.3 million contract, the Minnesota Twins added an exclamation point to a brilliant series of moves — and team president Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine did it in one whirlwind week of activity.
First, the Twins utilized their catching depth and traded Mitch Garver to the Rangers for shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Then they acquired the underrated Sonny Gray from the Reds for Chase Petty — the team’s first-round draft pick in 2021, but a high school pitcher who is years away from the majors. Then, less than 24 hours after acquiring Kiner-Falefa, they shipped their new shortstop, third baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Ben Rortvedt to the Yankees for third baseman Gio Urshela and catcher/DH Gary Sanchez.
With Donaldson owed $49.5 million, trading him also freed up money to pursue free-agent shortstop Trevor Story. Instead, with Story hesitating on his decision, the Twins swooped in for Correa, a deal that ESPN’s Jeff Passan said « came together quickly » on Friday. Passan called it a stunner, and that’s the correct description. This is not how the Twins usually operate. This is the biggest contract the Twins have ever given a free agent, topping the $92 million guaranteed to Donaldson and the $55 million to Ervin Santana in 2015.