Sano agreed to a one-year, $2.65 million with the Twins on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The deal includes a $50,000 bonus if Sano makes enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title (502), a mark he's yet to reach in his four-year career. That would require a major jump from the 299 plate appearances he received last year in a season plagued by injury and poor conditioning. He'll need to hit a lot better than the .199/.281/.398 line he posted last season if the Twins are to re-enter the playoff race.
Sano (leg) won't face criminal charges after he was involved in a car accident in the Dominican Republic early Sunday that resulted in a police officer suffering a broken leg, ESPN.com reports. Reports initially surfaced Sunday suggesting that Sano was arrested as a result of the incident, but Dominican national police concluded that the 25-year-old backed up his pickup truck outside of a nightclub without realizing that the officer was positioned behind his vehicle. According to police colonel Frank Duran Mejia, Sano took the injured officer to the hospital himself and wasn't charged because he didn't abandon the scene of the accident. With the situation surrounding the accident now clarified, it appears Sano will avoid any punishment from Major League Baseball and can turn his focus to rehabbing the left leg injury that limited him to just four appearances in September.
Manager Paul Molitor said he is "not optimistic" about Sano (leg) returning before the end of the season, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Sano has appeared in just four games in September due to a pair of injuries. With just four games left and Minnesota out of the playoff picture, the Twins have no reason to push the third baseman to return this season. It was a disappointing year for the 25-year-old, highlighted by multiple injuries and a trip to the minors to work through some struggles. He'll finish the season with a .199/.281/.398 slash line and 13 homers through 71 games.
After undergoing an MRI in Minnesota, it's unclear when Sano (leg) could return to action, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano won't play during the Twins' weekend series against the Athletics after traveling back to Minnesota for further testing. Sano's knee is a "little bit of a puzzle we haven't been able to solve yet," manager Paul Molitor stated before Saturday's game. It's entirely possible that Sano won't play again in 2018, but more news on his availability should be released soon.
Sano has returned to Minnesota to undergo further testing on his left leg, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Sano was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday and Friday, although it's unclear when his leg issue started to act up. He's been ruled out for Minnesota's weekend series with Oakland. More news on Sano's availability moving forward should emerge soon, although there's a good chance his season is over.