Sano has been working on his outfield defense in his native Dominican Republic and the Twins say they'll bring Torii Hunter in as a special assistant in spring training to help him to learn the new position. It may have looked like a ploy to increase Trevor Plouffe's trade value early in the offseason, but Sano's move to the outfield looks set to happen with the Twins recently agreeing to a one-year, $7.25 million deal with Plouffe. Of course, Sano will still have to demonstrate he can play the outfield in spring training and not be a major liability on defense.
He is not hurt, but simply felt it would be a better use of his offseason to work on what appears to be an impending position change to the outfield. Working on his conditioning will also prove key to a move to the outfield, so it is good to see that Sano is being proactive about this switch. However, there are still a variety of scenarios that would result in Sano playing more third base or DH than outfield in 2016. Regardless of where he plays, Sano will probably hit cleanup and serve as a great source of home runs and RBI.
This makes it official that the 29-year-old slugger will return to the Astros. Gattis acted as the Astros primary designated hitter in 2015, and although his batting average wasn't great at .246, his 27 home runs, 88 RBI, and 11 triples were all career highs, making it a no-brainer for the Astros to bring his production back for another season.