Gary Sanchez, Minnesota Twins agree to $9 million deal to avoid arbitration

MINNEAPOLIS — Wide receiver Gary Sanchez and the Minnesota Twins agreed to a one-year, $9 million deal Thursday, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for next week.

The deal was halfway between the $9.5 million Sanchez had requested and the $8.5 million offered by the Twins in the March 22 salary swap. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

Sanchez hit .204 with 23 home runs and 54 RBIs last year for the New York Yankees, the second straight season for the two-time All-Star.

Sanchez, 29, was traded to the Twins on March 13 along with infielder Gio Urshela for third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and wide receiver Ben Rortvedt. Sanchez entered Thursday with a .224 batting average, seven home runs and 27 RBIs.

No statistics or evidence after March 1 would have been admissible in arbitration other than contract and salary comparisons. The moment was set when Major League Baseball and the players’ association agreed to the deal that ended the lockout.

Sanchez’s deal came hours after the Chicago Cubs and wide receiver Willson Contreras settled midway through a $9.625 million deal. Both Sanchez and Contreras are eligible for free agency after the World Series.

Miami’s Jacob Stallings, a player eligible for arbitration for the first time, remains the last receiver scheduled for a hearing.

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