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Falvey: Twins Plan To Reallocate Money Saved In Polanco Trade

The Twins pulled off a significant trade this evening, sending second baseman Jorge Polanco to the Mariners for a four-player return. While Minnesota brought back a pair of MLB players — Justin Topa and Anthony DeSclafani — in the deal, that’s coming at a fairly modest financial cost.

DeSclafani is due $12MM for the upcoming season. The Giants agreed to pay $6MM in the trade that initially sent the veteran righty to Seattle. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the M’s are sending that $6MM plus an unspecified portion of the $6MM they’d owed to DeSclafani themselves. Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic report that Seattle is sending an additional $2MM, bringing the cash considerations to $8MM in total.

Polanco is set to receive $10.5MM, while Topa is making $1.25MM. There’s a $9.25MM gap between those two salaries, and the Twins are taking on $4MM owed to DeSclafani. The deal saves Minnesota $5.25MM in payroll room.

Falvey told reporters Minnesota expects to reallocate those savings into the roster (relayed by Dan Hayes of the Athletic). He suggested the team was likely to look for help on the position player side after acquiring a reliever and a rotation option in the Polanco trade (via Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com).

The front office leader didn’t specify any players or positions of interest. At the beginning of the offseason, Falvey suggested the club would evaluate the first base market. They haven’t made any additions there thus far and are presently set to count on Alex Kirilloff, who has had wrist and shoulder surgeries in his career.

Speculatively speaking, a right-handed hitting outfielder would also make sense. Minnesota has a corner outfield group consisting of left-handed bats like Max KeplerMatt Wallner and Nick Gordon. Gold Glover Byron Buxton is optimistic about his chance of moving back to center field after knee injuries limited him to DH in 2023. The Twins could still look for a center field option to back up Buxton given his injury history. Last year’s primary center fielder, Michael A. Taylor, remains unsigned.

In November, Hayes reported that Minnesota expected to open the season with a player payroll in the $125-140MM range. Roster Resource projected their spending around $124MM before tonight’s trade. Moving Polanco reduces those commitments to roughly $119MM.

Note: This post initially indicated that Seattle was covering $6MM of DeSclafani’s salary in addition to the $6MM included by San Francisco. The specific amount being covered by the Mariners beyond the initial $6MM from the Giants is $2MM. MLBTR apologizes for the error.


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