The SF Giants and Minnesota Twins have been part of one of the weirder offseasons in recent memory. At one point, Carlos Correa agreed to term sheets with both the Giants and the Twins. Of course, we know how this story plays out. The Twins have added another middle infielder with ties to the Giants as Donovan Solano agreed to a one-year deal according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
SF Giants News: 2020 Silver Slugger agrees to join Minnesota Twins
The Twins have had an active offseason, adding Correa to a six-year, $200 million deal with conditional options for four more seasons. Plus, they acquired pitcher Pablo López and center fielder Michael Taylor in a pair of trades with the Miami Marlins and the Kansas City Royals, respectively.
Solano joins an infield contingent that has Correa and Jorge Polanco firmly entrenched up the middle. José Miranda and Alex Kirilloff are penciled in to handle the corners. Conceivably, Solano could slot in as the right side of the platoon at first base with the left-handed-hitting Kirilloff.
The 35-year-old infielder spent parts of three seasons with San Francisco after signing a minor league deal prior to the 2019 season. Earlier in his career, Solano was known as a glove-first infielder for the New York Yankees and the Marlins.
However, his bat became an unexpected and immediate strength upon joining the Giants. The veteran infielder surprised everyone as he slashed .308/.354/.435 (113 OPS+) with a 5.8 percent walk rate against an 18.8 percent strikeout rate across three seasons with San Francisco. He proved to be an excellent situational hitter as well as a key clutch hitter.
This included a solid 2020 season in which he registered a .326/365/.463 line (127 OPS+) with three home runs, 29 RBI, and 22 runs in 203 plate appearances. He was one of the Giants' best hitters and the best hitter at second base as he took home the 2020 Silver Slugger award.
However, the pandemic-shortened season took away some accolades that Solano could have achieved. For example, there were no All-Star selections, but the right-handed bat would have been a top choice at his position, which would have represented his first and only All-Star nod. That would have meant a lot to an infielder who bounced around the minor league circuit. However, that is a topic for a different day.
Solano's tenure with San Francisco came to an end after the 2021 season. Thairo Estrada quickly emerged as an obvious replacement. He spent last season with the Cincinnati Reds and posted a .724 OPS in 304 plate appearances while missing much of the first half of the season.
He joins a Twins team that went 78-84 last season. They have had a busy and exciting offseason, but there is still a chance for Solano to carve out a role for a team that expects to be competitive this season.