Twins acquire outfielder Manuel Margot in trade with Dodgers

It has been a busy offseason for Manuel Margot. After landing in Los Angeles as part of a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that also sent Tyler Glasnow to the Dodgers, the 29-year-old outfielder is on the move once again.

This time, he’s coming to Minnesota, where he will fill a hole on the roster that the Twins have been looking to plug all offseason. Margot, acquired via trade on Monday, will provide a right-handed option for the Twins’ outfield and can slide into center field if Byron Buxton is out of the lineup.

“I think it’s an add that can really help us,” manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters in Tampa, Fla. “He’s a great guy that can complement you very well against left-handed pitchers, he helps you in the middle of the field. … We talked about rounding our team out with the right kinds of players. He is that kind of player.”

Margot, whom the Twins traded shortstop prospect Noah Miller for, hit .264 with a .686 OPS last season, adding four home runs and 82 hits in 99 games. He has played parts of eight seasons in the majors — the first four with the San Diego Padres and the last four in Tampa Bay. He is a .281 hitter against left-handed pitchers with a career .760 OPS against southpaws.

A strong defensive outfielder, Margot will be able to serve as a backup to Buxton, who is returning to center field this season after not playing the position in a major-league game last season because of a knee issue. Margot can also slide over to the corner spots.

“We think that fit for us, the combination of center field-ability and the plus in the corners with the ability to hit left-handed pitching, was kind of the best combination of all things,” Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said to reporters via Zoom.

While the Twins had expressed interest in a reunion with Michael. A Taylor, who is still a free agent, Margot now fills that need on the roster. The outfielder will earn $10 million this year, though the Dodgers will send the Twins money in the deal. In addition, the Dodgers also sent 20-year-old minor-league infielder Rayne Doncon to the Twins in the trade.

To acquire Margot, the Twins parted with Miller, a Wisconsin native whom they selected 36th overall in the 2021 draft. Miller hit .223 with a .648 OPS last season at Class-A Advanced Cedar Rapids, adding eight home runs and 60 RBIs in 120 games. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins transferred Josh Winder to the 60-day injured list with a scapular stress fracture.

“We’ve been looking at him. You could call it a targeted move,” Baldelli said of Margot after the Twins’ 9-2 spring training loss to the New York Yankees in Tampa, Fla. “I was incredibly excited to catch wind of (the trade) during the game.”

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