Minnesota Twins acquire outfielder in 3-player trade with Dodgers

In exchange for minor league shortstop Noah Miller on Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent cash, outfielder Manuel Margot, and minor league shortstop Rayne Doncon to the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers announced a $4 million, one-year contract to retain Kiké Hernández in conjunction with the trade.

Margot, 29, was traded by Tampa Bay to the Dodgers two months ago along with starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow. Margot played centre field and right field for the Rays last season, batting.264 with a.686 OPS in 99 games. He’s also taken a wild swing.

Before being sold to the Rays, Margot played centre field for the Padres from 2017 to 2019, when he made his major league debut with San Diego. He has batted.255 with a.694 OPS, 52 home runs, and 91 stolen bases in 788 career games.

“Some males usually slow down a lot at that age. “He isn’t,” Baldelli remarked. “His foot speed is literally pretty close to what it’s been previously, and he’s a really good athlete.”

Margot inked a $19 million, two-year contract with the Rays, which includes a $12 million mutual option for 2025 with a $2 million buyout. As part of that pact, he is paid $10 million this season. Should the option not be used, the Rays will have to pay the Dodgers an additional $2 million as part of the Glasnow trade.

The Twins president of baseball operations, Derek Falvey, stated that his team will get the $4 million commitment in addition to an undisclosed sum from the Dodgers to pay Margot’s contract in 2024. The Rays had already promised to send the Dodgers an additional $2 million towards Margot’s salary. Due to a decline in local broadcast revenue, the Twins reduced their payroll in 2024.

Michael A. Taylor, who became a free agent after playing 126 games in centre field and hitting a career-high 21 home runs last season while star Byron Buxton was limited to designated hitter duty due to knee injury, will effectively be replaced by Margot. With Matt Wallner in left and Max Kepler in right, Buxton is back to normal and should be the starting centre fielder. The only other surefire pick for the opening day roster with consistent outfield experience was utilityman Willi Castro.

The Twins have been eyeing Margot for some time because of his superb defensive skills in the corners and his ability to cover centre field when Buxton is not in the lineup.

“Everything we’ve gathered from guys who’ve been with him in Tampa and other spots is how instinctive he is, how good he is off the bat, how good his reads are, his ability to go in both directions to go get it,” Falvey stated.

Doncon, 20, participated for Class A Rancho Cucamonga in the previous campaign. He left the Dominican Republic by signing a contract.

The Twins selected Miller with the 36th overall pick in the amateur draft of 2021. Last season, the 21-year-old played for Class A Cedar Rapids.

Hernández played all four infield and all three outfield positions in 140 games with the Red Sox and Dodgers in 2023, batting.237 with 11 home runs and 61 RBIs. The 33-year-old became a free agent following the World Series and was reacquired by the Dodgers from Boston on July 25.

Hernández has participated in ten major league seasons, seven of which he spent partially with the Dodgers.

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