Mariners Acquire Jorge Polanco From the Minnesota Twins

More middle infield has arrived leading up to the 2024 season.

Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

As reported by Jeff Passan, the Mariners and the Twins finalized a deal that would send the second baseman to Seattle. Polanco was a strong hitter in 2023, slashing .255/.335/.454 and posting an OPS+ of 115 over 343 plate appearances. His arrival will bolster a position that was notoriously shaky throughout last season, starting with Kolten Wong (.519 OPS over 216 plate appearances ) and ending with Josh Rojas (.641 OPS over 350 plate appearances).

While last year's average exit velocity left a little to be desired, his barrel and sweet-spot rates were both in the top decile of MLB. Combined with a top-tier walk rate of 10.5%, he was one of the more effective bats at his position and had the 10th highest OPS for second basemen with 300+ at-bats. Throughout his ten-year career, he's averaged a .780 OPS and hasn't been a below-average bat in a full season since 2017.

Along with Mitch Garver, the signing of Polanco is a huge step in the right direction towards correcting the team's weak offense. As the team with the third-lowest OPS (behind just the Brewers and the White Sox) from its second basemen last season, his arrival alleviates what would have otherwise been a critical weakness in the lineup.

In return, the Twins are reportedly receiving RHP Anthony DeSclafani, RHP Justin Topa, outfield prospect Gabriel Gonzalez, and pitching prospect Darren Bowen. Gonzalez was a consensus top five prospect in Seattle's system and Topa posted a 2.61 ERA over 69 relief innings in 2023, so acquiring Polanco was not cheap. With a hefty price tag and free agency quickly approaching, he'll have a high bar to meet if he wants to satisfy fans who are hungry for another postseason run.