Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 3/8/12

It doesn’t get talked about very often, but spring training serves a dual purpose for many teams. Not only is it a time to get their players warmed up and ready for the regular season, but it’s also a perfect time for teams and players to finalize contract extensions. Free agent acquisitions are finished for the year and the off-season madness is in the past, so teams have the free time to focus on locking up their players. Coming into today, there had already been seven extensions signed since the beginning of spring training…and the Twins just added number eight:

The Twins have signed left-hander Glen Perkins to a three-year, $10.3MM extension, the team announced. The SFX client was already under contract for $1.55MM in 2012, so the deal covers the 2013-15 seasons. It includes a club option for 2016.  (MLB Trade Rumors)

This was a savvy move by the Twins. In his first full season working out of the bullpen, Perkins blossumed into an entirely new pitcher. As a starter, his strikeout rate had hung around 10% as his slider and change-up both generated mediocre amounts of whiffs. His fastballs averaged in the low-90 MPH range, making his overall repertoire middling.

But in the bullpen, Perkins let himself go. His fastball’s velocity jumped up to 94-95 MPH, and he ditched his change-up in favor of throwing his slider 30% of the time. He had never generated more than 28% Whiffs/Swing with any of his pitches before, but in 2012, hitters whiffed on his slider 40% of the time they swung at it. Perkins went from a replacement-level starter to closer material — not something you see happen every day.

The Twins don’t have a deep bullpen, so it makes sense that they’d want to lock up Perkins. His 2.41 FIP and 1.7 WAR led the Twins last season by a wide margin; the next best pitcher in their ‘pen was arguably Joe Nathan, who had a 4.28 FIP and finished the season with zero WAR. Their closer, Matt Capps, saw his strikeout rate plummet last season, and he blew 9 saves and posted a 4.75 FIP. It was a sorry bunch back there, and Perkins was the only consistent, reliable reliever that the Twins had.

By locking up Perkins before the season begins, the Twins essentially just inked their closer-of-the-future to a contract worthy of a set-up man. At the first sign of trouble from Capps, Perkins will likely be inserted as closer, and the Twins will have themselves a great closer signed to a very affordable control.

My only hesitancy is that Perkins is guaranteed money by the Twins for four seasons; that’s a long time to trust that Perkins will remain healthy and effective. Relief pitchers come and go, their performance fluctuates on a yearly basis, and they are a constant injury risk. Teams rarely sign relief pitchers to deals longer than two or three years, and even those sort of deals can blow up in a team’s face easily enough. This is a tad of a risky signing by the Twins — but at least it’s a small risk, as $12 million over four seasons isn’t so bad. Even if he regresses some or has some injury issues over the coming years, Perkins should still easily be worth this contract in the end.

Considering the current state of the Twins’ bullpen, this was a no-brainer decision. They may have six other holes, but at least they have one reliable reliever to count on in the future.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Repot: NFL to investigate Aldon Smith over Periscope video

Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker