Who starts at 3B next season, Sano or Plouffe? Will Hunter return?


Miguel Sano is going to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, where he'll serve as an everyday third baseman, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports.

It brings to question a big the decision the Twins will face this off-season: Will Sano or Trevor Plouffe be the starting third baseman next season?

Sano is fully capable of playing the corner infield position, but he was destined for designated hitter in 69 games as a rookie thanks to a nagging hamstring injury.

Despite that health issue, Sano crushed the ball to the tune of 18 homers, 17 doubles and 52 RBIs in 80 games. Aaron Gleeman notes that Sano's OPS (slugging percentage plus on-base percentage) was the highest for a 22-year-old in Twins history.

"I'm not overly comfortable locking him into a DH role," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Sano, according to the Pioneer Press. "At his age, I think it's a little bit dangerous. You might be forced that way to some degree. It's one of those things you've got to see shake out. He's got to go about his work preparing to be a position player, there's no doubt about that."

Time will tell, but Plouffe, per the report, could be due for a big raise from the $4.8 million he made this year. He finished with 22 home runs and a career-high 86 RBIs.

Hunter not sure if he'll return

Torii Hunter's presence in the Twins locker room brought more than dance parties, but whether his dance parties and leadership are back next year is a question he's not ready to answer.

Hunter joined WCCO radio on Sunday and said he doesn't want to make any snap decisions.

“It is a just-in-case kind of feeling,” Hunter said in a salute to the fans before Sunday's season finale at Target Field, the Pioneer Press notes. “It felt the same as in 2007 in my last game. I was up in the air. I didn’t know if I was coming back or if I was going to leave as a free agent. It might be a good thing, having a chance to come back and play the game I love to play and use the talent that God has blessed me with.”

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