MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have acquired outfielder Michael A. Taylor from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Steven Cruz and minor league left-handed pitcher Evan Sisk.
Taylor, 31, hit .254 (105-for-414) with 10 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 43 RBI, 35 walks, four stolen bases and 49 runs scored in 124 games for the Royals in 2022. He played 123 games in centerfield and led all American League outfielders with 19 defensive runs saved (per Fangraphs), matching Arizona’s Daulton Varsho for tops in the majors last season.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound outfielder won an AL Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2021 and has 61 defensive runs saved since 2017 (per Fangraphs), tied with Byron Buxton and New York-AL’s Aaron Judge for third most among all major league outfielders in that span. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Taylor was originally selected by the Washington Nationals in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale. He made his major league debut on August 12, 2014 for the Nationals and has hit .241 (618-for-2561) with 113 doubles, 12 triples, 74 home runs, 281 RBI, 191 walks and 311 runs scored in 840 career major league games for Washington and Kansas City.
Cruz, 23, went 1-4 with a 5.14 ERA (56.0 IP, 32 ER), 35 walks, 72 strikeouts and a .252 opponent batting average in 46 games for Double-A Wichita in 2022. Sisk, 25, went a combined 5-1 with a 1.57 ERA (63.0 IP, 11 ER), 29 walks, 76 strikeouts and a .162 opponent batting average in 50 games between Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul last season.
To make room for Taylor on the 40-man roster, the Twins have designated right-handed pitcher A.J. Alexy for release or assignment. Alexy was acquired by the Twins from the Washington Nationals on January 10.