The Minnesota Twins have signed Nick Blackburn to a four-year, $14MM contract that includes an $8MM club option for 2014, according to a team press release. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says Blackburn will earn $750K this year, $3MM in 2011, $4.75MM in '12, and $5.5MM in '13. The extension is very similar to Scott Baker's.
Blackburn's first two full seasons in the Twins' rotation have been remarkably similar, with the right-hander posting an 11-11 record over 33 starts in both 2008 and 2009. His peripherals remained consistent as well, including a sparkling 1.8 BB/9 over the two seasons, along with a less impressive 4.4 K/9. The 28-year-old is one of many Twins pitchers who performed markedly better at home than on the road. He had a 3.57 career home ERA in the Metrodome era, and a 4.64 ERA in other stadiums.
The contract buys out all of Blackburn's arbitration-eligible seasons, with the Twins holding the $8MM option for his first potential season of free agency. Based on the righty's numbers to date, $14MM for the next four years looks like a reasonable price for the Twins. Blackburn's performance in those four seasons will dictate whether the Twins would be wise to invest another $8MM on him in 2014, at age 32.
The press release notes that the Twins also renewed the contracts of 20 other players, locking up each of the 40 players on their current roster for the coming season.