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Updated: March 8th, 2012 8:45am
Twins sign reliever Glen Perkins to 3-year, $10.3M contract extension

Twins sign reliever Glen Perkins to 3-year, $10.3M contract extension

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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Glen Perkins could have become a free agent after the 2013 season.

Instead, it appears he'll stay with his hometown club for a while.

The Minnesota Twins announced on Thursday morning they have signed Perkins to a three-year contract extension through 2015 that includes $10.3 million guaranteed.

The deal also contains a club option for 2016 and language that, starting in 2013, would provide additional compensation if Perkins becomes the Twins' closer. Per the Star Tribune, Perkins will earn $2.5 million in 2013, and $3.75 million in both 2014 and 2015 with a $4.5 million team option in 2016.

Perkins, who already was under contract for the 2012 season at $1.55 million, was 4-4 with a 2.48 earned-run average in 61 2/3 innings over 65 appearances last season. He struck out 65, allowed 55 hits and issued 21 walks as the most consistent member of an otherwise-beleaguered bullpen.

In 145 career appearances, including 44 starts, Perkins is 23-16 with a 4.41 ERA. He's expected to be the primary set-up man for Matt Capps this season.

"This was an opportunity for Glen to get security," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "And it was an opportunity for us to lock up a key piece to our bullpen for the next four years, plus."

According to a league source, Perkins' camp used left-handed reliever Sean Marshall as one of the primary comps. Marshall, 29, signed a three-year, $16.5 million extension with the Reds this offseason, although he has a longer track record of bullpen success than Perkins.

"(Perkins) doesn't have the track record or the history of some guys, but when you get into these situations, he was a four-plus player (in the arbitration system)," Antony said. "We just agreed on his second year of arbitration. So it's a fine line. Sometimes, if you wait another year, now he's just a year away from free agency.

"If he backs it up again this year, he might have said, 'You know what? You had an opportunity. We wanted to talk about an extension and you didn't. I think it's a leap of faith on our part, and I think there are some concessions on his part. This thing is structured to protect him, so if his role changes and he becomes a closer, there's language in there for him to be compensated better. So it was a two-way street."

Asked if he considered waiting another year to sign a long-term deal -- perhaps after he becomes a closer -- Perkins said, "Not really, to be honest with you. I've always maintained that that's enough money for me. To come out and play baseball, not to take away from anybody making more money than that, but that's enough for me to be able to just go play baseball. ...

"That's the first thing I told my agent when we started negotiating, I said as long as I get enough where it's enough, we'll figure it out."

Perkins is a 2011 graduate of Stillwater High School and former "U" standout. The Twins selected him in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2004 draft.

"We are very pleased to reach this agreement with Glen", Twins general manager Terry Ryan said in a statement. "He has been a reliable reliever for us and has helped stabilize the back end of our bullpen in the set-up role. When we were looking for someone to step up last year, it was Glen who seized the opportunity and pitched the way we knew he could, after selecting him out of the University of Minnesota."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
In this story: Matt Capps, Glen Perkins
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