Friday started with the Twins fully remaking their brand for the first time since 1987, with players donning new uniforms in a big reveal at Mall of America.
By the time Friday ended, the Twins had also fully remade the left side of their infield.
Just hours before a 6 pm Friday deadline for offering arbitration-eligible contracts for next season, the Twins announced they traded third baseman Gio Urshela to the Angels.
Later in the day, they made a deal to get infielder Kyle Farmer from the Reds. Farmer, 32, has appeared in 292 games over the last two seasons with Cincinnati, including 212 starts at shortstop. He hit .255 in 2022 with 14 homers, 78 RBI and a .701 OPS.
Farmer, who is due to make about $6 million in 2023, is also under team control in 2024. He can also play third base and second base, but his acquisition could end the Twins’ pursuit of free agent Carlos Correa.
The Twins in return for Urshela received minor league pitcher Alejandro Hidalgo, 19, who had a 4.62 ERA in 10 starts for the Angels’ Class A affiliate last season. He’s a Venezuelan native and was ranked the 22nd-best prospect in the Angels organization, per MLB.com.
In trading for Farmer, the Twins sent Cincinnati 25-year-old minor league pitcher Casey Legumina, who posted a 5.30 ERA at Class AA Wichita in 2022.
Urshela, who came to the Twins before the start of the last season in the Josh Donaldson trade, was one of the team’s most consistent and durable players a year ago when he hit .285 with 13 homers and 64 RBI.
But he has the potential to make more than $9 million in arbitration, and the Twins had until Friday’s deadline to decide whether to keep him at that price or let him become a free agent.
Before acquiring Farmer, the Twins didn’t have a clear answer as to who will play shortstop in 2023 with Correa opting out of his contract and prospect Royce Lewis recovering from a torn ACL.
They already have a natural succession plan at third base with Jose Miranda, who hit 15 homers and batted .268 as a rookie while mostly learning on the fly playing first base.
“I think third base is more natural for me. During my minor league career I played more third base,” Miranda said during Friday’s uniform reveal, before the Urshela and Farmer trades were announced. “But obviously I told them I would play wherever they wanted, so they put me at first more this past year. Next year I’m ready for wherever they want me.”
The Twins also announced Friday that they had tendered contracts to all their remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players: right-handed pitchers Emilio Pagán, Jorge Alcala, Tyler Mahle, Jorge López and Chris Paddack, left-handed pitcher Caleb Thielbar, and infielder Luis Arraez. .
Of those, Pagan was the only decision that wasn’t considered a slam dunk going into the day. The reliever was acquired along with Paddack from the Padres before the start of last season and struggled with a 4.43 ERA and several high-profile blown saves. Pagan is in line to make $3.7 million via arbitration in 2023.