The Minnesota Twins are saying goodbye to their longest-tenured player, All-Star infielder Jorge Polanco. The franchise announced on Monday night that they are trading Polanco to the Seattle Mariners in a deal that will net them a package of four players.
In exchange for Polanco, the Twins received starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, veteran reliever Justin Topa, Top 100 outfield prospect Gabriel Gonzalez, and minor-league pitcher Darren Bowen. As part of the trade, the Mariners are also sending $8 million in cash to Minnesota.
Polanco spent all of his eight years in the major league with the Twins. He had an All-Star campaign in 2019 and was an important part of Minnesota teams that won three AL Central titles and made the postseason four times in the past seven years.
However, Polanco had a challenging 2023 campaign that saw him play only 80 games while hitting .255 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs. This and the emergence of infield talent like Edouard Julien and Royce Lewis made the 30-year-old player expendable and it was only a matter of time before the Twins decided to move him.
“(He) really was a steady presence for us for a long time,” Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said. “When I talked to him earlier, I said, ‘Listen, in many ways, you’ll always be a Twin, and you never know how this world comes back around in baseball.’ This was a difficult decision, not just from a baseball perspective for how we value him as a player, but even more so for who he is as a human being. And the type of teammate he is.”
The deal with the Mariners now allows the Twins to slash their payroll further and keep financial flexibility for further additions. They also receive several useful players that they hope can help them make a step forward and build on their 2023 campaign that saw them reach AL Divisional Series.