In 140 games with Tampa Bay in 2018, Cron hit 30 home runs with a .253 batting average and an .816 OPS. Defensively, the 28-year-old split time between DH and first base.
He will be reunited with new Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. In 2017, Baldelli was the major-league field coordinator for the Rays, a made up position that the Rays made for Baldelli.
This move comes with good timing, considering the Twins recently lost their primary first baseman and part time DH, Joe Mauer, to retirement. The former MVP hit .282 with six home runs and a .729 OPS in 2018. Cron is an immediate upgrade in the power department, and will provide the power from the middle of the order.
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After trading Brian Dozier to the Dodgers in 2018, the Twins lost their biggest slugger over the past few years. The team expected Miguel Sano to make a leap in 2018, but between his legal troubles, injury, and spending time in Triple-A, Sano didn’t have the year the Twins were expecting. Eddie Roasrio led the team in home runs with 24, and Cron will give them that power boost.
Cron will likely split time between DH and first base, where he will share the DH role with Sano, and first base with Tyler Austin, who hit .236 with nine home runs and 24 runs driven in 35 games with the Twins.
Last season, the slugger made $2.3 million and is set to hit arbitration for the 2019 season. MLB Trade Rumors is projecting Cron to make $5.2 million in arbitration for next season.
The addition of Cron gives the Twins the power that they will miss with Brian Dozier gone. Minnesota can hope Sano has a bounce back season and Rosario is the 20 homer guy that he has been the past couple of years, so that Cron will add to a powerful middle of the lineup for a team that made the Wild Card game in 2017.