The Minnesota Twins extended the contract of closer Glen Perkins on Friday, locking up the All-Star left-hander through 2017, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. The restructured contract will pay Perkins a total of $21.475 million over the next four seasons, reports Jesse Spector of Sporting News.
The Twins have spent significantly on their pitching staff this winter. They shelled out $84 million to add starters Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes and retain Mike Pelfrey, and now they have committed a little bit more to one of the lone bright spots of their 96-loss 2013 squad. Perkins underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his knee in October to repair his medial meniscus, but he is pitching in spring training and is expected to be ready for the regular season.
Perkins notched 36 saves in 40 opportunities and registered a 2.30 ERA last year in his first full season as a closer. His performance earned him the first All-Star bid of his career. The 31-year-old still had two more years on his previous contract at $3.75 million apiece, plus a $4.5 million team option, but the Twins decided to up the ante a little bit. Given that he has a relatively clean health record and struck out five batters for every walk over the last two seasons combined, Perkins is as safe of a bet as a club could hope for in the volatile world of relief pitchers.
Whereas many rebuilding teams prefer to trade win-now commodities like All-Star closers in an effort to stock their farm systems, the Twins' system is already well-stocked. The team has the seventh-best farm system in the sport, according to Baseball America, and it also has the consensus No. 1 prospect in the minors, Byron Buxton.