Coming off their first AL Central division title in nine years, the Minnesota Twins added two more veteran arms to bolster their rotation.
On Tuesday, the Twins signed former Los Angeles Dodgers’ standout pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year contract worth $3 million, though it includes $9.5 million worth of performance bonuses, per Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
The team also agreed to a one-year deal with Homer Bailey for $7 million, per Dan Hayes of MLB.com. Hayes added that the deal carries bonuses should Bailey reach 180 innings in 2020.
Minnesota’s rotation was one of the strongest last season, combining for an ERA of 4.19 – which was good for fifth in the American League. Adding two veterans on cheap one-year pacts is a worthwhile move for the front office as they try to reach the next level in 2020.
The Dodgers had acquired Hill in a 2016 trade deadline deal with the Oakland Athletics. He became linchpin in their rotation and helped the team win four straight division titles as well as consecutive NL pennants, in 2017 and 2018 – though they lost the World Series both years.
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Hill had recorded three straight double-digit win seasons from 2016 to ’18. But injuries limited Hill to only 13 games last year, and he finished with a 4-1 record and a 2.45 ERA in 58.2 innings pitched.
As for Bailey, he pitched with the Cincinnati Reds from 2007 to 2018. He helped them win the NL Central division in 2010 and 2012, while guiding them to a wild card spot in 2013. He split 2019 with the Athletics and Kansas City Royals, compiling a 13-9 record with a 4.57 ERA.
It’s been an excellent and productive offseason in the Gopher State. Minnesota was able to bring back starter Jake Odorizzi on a one-year pact worth $17.8 million back in November, too. There’s still more work to do, but this time unquestionably looks far better than the club that won the division last year. It’s starting to become championship or bust in Minnesota.
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