Taylor batted .254 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 414 at-bats last season for the Royals, his second year with the club after spending his first seven major league seasons with the Washington Nationals. Taylor was a Gold Glove winner in his Royals debut in 2021 and gives the Twins a third outfielder on their roster who has won the award, joining Byron Buxton (2017) and newcomer Joey Gallo (2020 and 2021).
The Twins sent 23-year-old right-hander Steven Cruz and 25-year-old left-hander Evan Sisk to the Royals.
Cruz, a native of the Dominican Republic, went 1-4 with a 5.14 ERA, 35 walks and 72 strikeouts in 56 innings last season for Double-A Wichita.
Sisk, who was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 16th round in 2018 out of the College of Charleston, split last season between Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul. He went 5-1 with a 1.57 ERA, 29 walks and 76 strikeouts in 63 innings between the teams.
Taylor, who turns 32 in March, is entering his 10th major league season. He is due to make $4.5 million this year in the final season of a two-year, $9 million contract.
Taylor is primarily a center fielder, though that position is occupied in Minnesota by Buxton, an All-Star in 2022. Taylor also has played both corner outfield positions.
For his career, Taylor has batted .241/.296/.381 with 74 homers, 281 RBIs and 95 stolen bases in 840 games with Washington (2014-20) and Kansas City (2021-22).
"Thank you, Michael A. Taylor, for your Gold Glove defense and the time you spent with us in Kansas City," the team wrote in a tweet. "Best of luck in Minnesota and the rest of your career."
Minnesota cleared a space on the 40-man roster for Taylor by designating right-handed reliever A.J. Alexy for assignment. The Twins acquired Alexy, 24, from the Nationals in a trade earlier this month after Washington picked him up off waivers from the Rangers in December.
Alexy went 1-1 with an 11.57 ERA in four relief appearances for Texas last year.
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was included in this report.