Twins trade 2B Jorge Polanco to Mariners in 5-player deal


The Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins swung a five-player trade Monday, with second baseman Jorge Polanco going to Seattle for outfield prospect Gabriel Gonzalez, reliever Justin Topa, starter Anthony DeSclafani and minor league pitcher Darren Bowen.

The Mariners are also giving the Twins cash considerations. Both teams announced the deal Monday night.

Polanco, a 30-year-old switch hitter, joins a Mariners team that has spent the winter seeking bats to complement its elite starting pitching. An All-Star in 2019, Polanco has been a consistently well-above-league-average hitter in his 10-year big league career, slashing .269/.334/.446, and is likely to slot into the middle of a Mariners order that includes Julio Rodriguez, J.P. Crawford, Cal Raleigh, Ty France and a pair of offseason additions, Mitch Garver and Mitch Haniger.

The Twins had exercised a $10.5 million option on Polanco this winter, and his deal includes a $12 million club option for 2025.

Minnesota has spent much of the offseason looking to shed payroll after winning the American League Central last year. The Twins lost Sonny Gray, who finished second in AL Cy Young voting, via free agency to St. Louis. Starters Kenta Maeda and Tyler Mahle as well as reliever Emilio Pagan left in free agency, too. Minnesota’s one major league transaction prior to the deal was signing reliever Josh Staumont for $950,000.

Gonzalez, 20, is the centerpiece of the deal for Minnesota. A right-handed-hitting corner outfielder, he split last season between Single-A and High-A, thriving at the lower level (.348/.403/.530) but struggling in 181 at-bats at the upper tier (.215/.290/.387). He is a borderline top-100 prospect whose bat-to-ball skills are his carrying tool.

Topa, 32, was the latest reliever to thrive with Seattle in the big leagues. He posted a 2.61 ERA over 75 games last year, striking out 61 and walking 18 in 69 innings, and his career ground ball rate is an excellent 56.5%.

DeSclafani, whose $12 million salary will be covered in part by Seattle sending cash to Minnesota, was traded for the second time this winter, previously accompanying Haniger in a deal that sent former Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to San Francisco. DeSclafani posted a 4.88 ERA in 99⅔ innings last season, missing the final two months with a flexor strain in his right elbow.

Bowen, 23, was a 13th-round pick out of UNC-Pembroke in 2022 and posted a 3.88 ERA over 55⅔ innings in his first minor league season.

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