Minnesota Twins trade 3B Josh Donaldson to Yankees

Major League Baseball owners ended their lockout with players on Friday, and the Minnesota Twins have been busy ever since.

They made their biggest moves on Sunday. It started with the Twins trading a first round pick to the Cincinnati Reds for starting pitcher Sonny Gray, a two-time All-Star who could likely be the Opening Day starter on April 7 against the Seattle Mariners at Target Field.

Josh Donaldson #24 of the Minnesota Twins fields during an intrasquad game on July 19, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images))

The Twins made an even bigger move Sunday night, reportedly sending star third baseman Josh Donaldson, newly-acquired shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt to the New York Yankees in exchange for catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela.

Team officials confirmed the move Sunday night.

The Twins signed Donaldson to a four-year, $92 million deal before the 2020 season. Donaldson was plagued by calf and hamstring injuries in two seasons. He played just 28 games in 2020, and hit 32 home runs in 163 games with Minnesota. He’s also now teammates with Gerrit Cole, who he called out last June for using foreign substances to improve his grip and spin rate to manipulate baseballs.

The Yankees are reportedly taking on the $50 million remaining on Donaldson’s current contract.

The Twins get a starting infielder in Urshela, and early indications are Sanchez will be a designated hitter and back-up catcher to Ryan Jeffers. Sanchez has spent his first seven seasons with the Yankees and has a career .230 batting average with 138 homers and 340 RBI in 538 games.

Urshela has been with the Yankees the last three seasons and last year, hit .267 with 14 homers and 49 RBI in 116 games.