Albers, 30, was a 10th-round pick of the Padres back in 2008 but wound up pitching on the independent circuit in 2010. The True Gravity client parlayed impressive numbers in the Can-Am Association into a minor league deal with the Twins back in 2011 and rose through the club’s ranks quickly, reaching the Majors and tossing 60 innings for Minnesota in 2013. Albers recorded a 4.05 ERA with a 25-to-7 K/BB ratio in those 60 innings, and he spent the 2014 season pitching in the Korea Baseball Organization before returning to North America to pitch for the Blue Jays. Albers struggled at Triple-A and in a brief MLB stint with the Jays last season and again turned to the independent league over the winter. He made one start for the Atlantic League’s Lancaster BarnStormers and fired seven shutout innings, yielding just a hit and a walk with nine strikeouts before this new agreement.
Minnesota has seen its rotation depth compromised by injuries to Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson, and three members of its Triple-A rotation — Tyler Duffey, Alex Meyer and Jose Berrios — are now at the big league level. Albers, it seems, will add an experienced minor league arm to Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate in Rochester for the time being.