Twins send Urshela to Angels for Low-A pitcher

The Minnesota Twins have traded one of last year’s veteran starters.

Friday afternoon, the team sent third-baseman Gio Urshela to the Los Angeles Angels.

In return, Minnesota reported got 19-year-old pitcher Alejandro Hidalgo, who is rated by as the Angels’ No. 22 prospect. He spent last year at Class A after signing out of Venezuela in 2019.

The trade comes just hours before the 7 p.m. deadline to tender contracts to players. With Urshela projected to earn around $9.2 million in his final year of arbitration, per MLB Trade Rumors, the Twins may have opted to non-tender him rather than pay him that much money. Instead, they get a young pitching prospect for him.

Urshela, 30, was one of Minnesota’s key contributors last season. Across 144 games, he hit .285/.338/.429 with a .767 OPS, 13 home runs and 64 RBI. Baseball-Reference also listed him as being worth 3.1 wins above replacement, fourth-highest on the team, behind only Carlos Correa, Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton.

However, in addition to financial resources, the move also opens third base for Jose Miranda, who split time between first, third and designated hitter but was forced to primarily play first base last season.

Angels manager Phil Nevin knows Urshela well, as he was a coach for the New York Yankees while Urshela played for the team in 2019 and 2020.