Friday, January 10, 2020

Sano Reaches Promised Land in New Deal

After having avoided arbitration hearings for the vast majority of their existence, the Minnesota Twins looked like they may be headed to the table with both Jose Berrios and Miguel Sano. Then after the clock had struck seven, Jeff Passan broke the news that the Dominican slugger is staying in a Twins uniform for a while.
Earlier on in the evening it was noted that Minnesota and Miggy had not reached an agreement. While that may suggest things trending towards a filing disparity or a hearing, it was then later reported the club had inked him to a three-year, $30 million contract. Sano will receive $27 million over the first three years, with a $14 million club option or $3 million buyout in year four.

Slated to hit free agency in the 2022 season, this new deal buys out two years of free agency with the possibility of a third. The deal will take Sano through his age-30 season, and could keep him in a Twins uniform until after he turns 31.

After being a heralded prospect expected to lead the Twins to the Promised Land, he’s gone through quite a bit of growing pains. From nearly winning Rookie of the Year, to playing right field, to off-field transgressions, a demotion to Single-A, and ultimately a rise that culminated in a career year, the 26-year-old has experience it all.

That career year in 2019 shouldn’t be looked at solely through numbers either. It started out with a trip from Rocco Baldelli to the Dominican, and was soon aided by the presence of elder-slugger Nelson Cruz. The message has been one of maturation and commitment. Sano has always possessed the entire toolkit when it comes to playing baseball, but choosing to harness it has been a different story. He put in the work both physically and mentally last year, and unsurprisingly the results followed.

Over 105 games Sano clubbed 34 dingers and posted a .923 OPS. His .346 OBP and .576 SLG were noteworthy on their own. He generated a 138 OPS+ and looked the part of a power bat in one of the most dangerous lineups in the sport.

The extension follows a similar pattern to those handed out to both Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco a year prior. The hope would now be that the Twins would hammer out a deal with starting pitcher Jose Berrios. Both he and Byron Buxton look the part of future cogs as well, and coming to a common ground that creates future certainty would be a great development for the club.

Minnesota still has work to do this offseason, but they nailed this in locking down their Bringer of Sano.