The Minnesota Twins are committing to their core of young talent by extending the contracts of shortstop Jorge Polanco and outfielder Max Kepler, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
The Twins finalized a contract extension with Polanco for five years and $25.75 million that includes a pair of club options for 2024 and 2025, a league source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN.
Hours later, a league source told ESPN that Kepler and the Twins have agreed on a five-year, $35 million deal with a sixth-year option that is worth $10 million and includes a $1 million buyout.
For Polanco, the new contract will buy out his last pre-arbitration season, all three arbitration seasons and up to three free-agent years. The deal for Kepler, who was eligible for arbitration as a Super 2 this year, will cover his four arbitration seasons and two free-agent years.
Polanco, 25, has been a strong if not entirely steady presence in the middle of the Twins' infield. Minnesota was discussing an extension with the switch-hitter last winter before he received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance that he said came from a tainted supplement.
In 77 games after his return, Polanco, who has never played in more than 133 games in a season, hit .288/.345/.427 with 6 home runs and 42 RBIs.
Kepler, 26, hit .224 last season with a career-high 20 home runs and 58 RBIs. Playing right field for the third straight season, Kepler won the team's defensive player of the year award in 2018.
Signed by the Twins as a 16-year-old out of Germany, Kepler agreed last month to a $3,125,000 salary for 2019 in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Together, they are entering their prime years along with a young Twins core that includes outfielders Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton, third baseman Miguel Sano, and starters Jose Berrios and Fernando Romero.
Between shortstop Royce Lewis and outfielder Alex Kirilloff, the Twins also have two of the best prospects in baseball.
Kepler and Polanco will now be the Twins' only players on the books for 2020 and beyond for chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz and starting pitcher Martin Perez have club options for next season, but they can be bought out.
These extensions would be the second and third in two days, as the Philadelphia Phillies locked up ace Aaron Nola on Wednesday with a four-year, $45 million deal that includes a fifth-year club option.
With the uncertainty of the free-agent market, sources said, more extensions are expected throughout the spring.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.