The wait proved to be worth it.
Weeks after reports first surfaced that the Twins were pursuing power-hitting third baseman Josh Donaldson in free agency — and with many believing that the veteran was using Minnesota as leverage to return to the Atlanta Braves — Donaldson reportedly agreed to a four-year contract with the Twins on Tuesday. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was the first on the story. The contract includes a fifth-year club option and will guarantee $92 million.
Josh Donaldson’s deal with the Minnesota Twins will pay him $84 million over the first four years and includes a $16 million club option with an $8 million buyout. In total, it’s $92 million guaranteed with a chase to go to $104 million if Donaldson hits escalators on the option.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 15, 2020
Donaldson provides another power threat in a lineup that hit a Major League record 307 home runs in 2019 and won its first American League Central title since 2010. The 34-year-old also provides solid defense at third base and will enable the Twins to shift Miguel Sano to first base.
Donaldson, the 2015 American League Most Valuable Player with Toronto, hit .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs and 94 RBIs in 155 games with the Braves last season. He was playing on a one-year, $23 million contract he signed with Atlanta in November 2018 after various injuries limited to only 16 games in 2018 while playing for Toronto and Cleveland.
A lot of years playing against each other, glad to finally share the same uniform and not have to face you anymore! Welcome ☔️☔️☔️ @BringerOfRain20
— Jake Odorizzi (@JakeOdorizzi) January 15, 2020
Donaldson began his major league career in Oakland in 2010 and was traded to Toronto in November 2014 in a deal that sent four players to the A’s. He was dealt to Cleveland in August 2018 for a player to be named and became a free agent after that season.
In nine big-league seasons, Donaldson has slashed .273/.369/.509 with 219 home runs and 645 RBI in 1,038 games. Donaldson has been an All-Star three times (2014, 2015 and 2016) and hit .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers and a league-leading 123 RBIs in 158 games in his MVP season with the Blue Jays. That was his first season in Toronto.
Donaldson reportedly was being pursued by the Twins, Braves, Nationals and Dodgers.