Amid offseason trade rumors, Farmer happily surprised he remains with Twins

FORT MYERS, FLA. — When Kyle Farmer celebrates his wedding anniversary Nov. 18, the celebratory dinner with his wife, Courtney, is usually interrupted by baseball news.

Farmer was at an anniversary dinner in 2022 when he received a call from Nick Krall, the Cincinnati Reds' general manager, informing him he was traded to the Twins. One day before his anniversary last November, he braced for news the Twins would release or trade him.

The Twins, despite cutting payroll, opted to keep Farmer and his $6.05 million salary for the upcoming season. To avoid an arbitration hearing, Farmer and the Twins added a $6.25 million mutual option for 2025 with a $250,000 buyout.

"I always saw myself here, but all the trade rumors and nontender stuff," said Farmer, referring to the deadline for teams to tender one-year contracts to players under team control, "I figured I wasn't going to be here. It worked out good."

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Farmer wasn't convinced he would make it to spring training with the Twins until they traded Jorge Polanco, which opened some playing time for a guy who hits well against lefthanded pitching. Farmer batted .290 with two homers and 16 RBI in 114 at-bats against lefties last season.

"In October, you don't think about it," he said. "November, you don't think about it. But when it comes December time, whether they tender you or nontender you, it's kind of crazy."

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli envisions a similar role for Farmer to the one he held last year. He will share time at second base with Edouard Julien, and he's an option to receive playing time at the other three infield positions.

"That's an easy way to cut payroll is by not keeping me, but I think that shows how much they like me, and they want to keep me around," Farmer said. "I think that's cool. You always want to go somewhere you are liked and wanted. I'm glad they didn't cut me out of it."

Home run champion

Yunior Severino, who started at second base in Sunday's spring training game, isn't an imposing figure, listed at 6-foot, 189 pounds.

His modest frame hides his power. He led all minor leaguers — all teams, all levels — with 35 home runs in 120 games last season.

Severino, 24, totaled 24 homers at Class AA Wichita and 11 homers at Class AAA St. Paul. He bashed 19 homers in 2022, his only other minor league season with a double-digit home run total.

"I'm not surprised because I'm working hard every year," said the switch-hitting Severino, who was added to the Twins' 40-man roster in November.


* Former Twins All-Star Miguel Sanó, who signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels, told reporters he lost 58 pounds over the past year. He sat out last season after he had five hits in 60 at-bats with the Twins in 2022.