The Twins have bolstered their relief corps with the signing of their third free-agent reliever of the offseason, announcing on Monday a two-year deal with righty Addison Reed. The Wasserman client will be guaranteed $16.75MM on the contract, according to the Twins (one of the few teams that disclose financial details in the majority of their transactions).
The fact that the Twins will reel in Reed on such a short-term commitment comes as a surprise. MLBTR had projected a four-year pact for the right-hander, and most pundits had him pegged for at least a three-year commitment prior to the onset of free agency. Reed had three-year offers on the table at times this offseason, but his desire was to join a team in the Midwest, per Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan (Twitter link). The 29-year-old now joins Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke as veteran additions to the Minnesota bullpen. Like Rodney, Reed brings ninth-inning experience, having saved a combined 125 games since debuting in 2011.
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Pitching has been the main focus this offseason for the Twins, who are coming off their first playoff campaign since 2010. The club’s 85-victory year came in spite of underwhelming pitching, including a relief corps that ranked 22nd in the majors in ERA (4.40) and 29th in strikeout rate (7.66 K/9). Reed’s lifetime output indicates he’ll significantly help the Twins’ cause over the next couple years, as he has pitched to a 3.40 ERA and posted 9.5 strikeouts per nine across a 402 2/3-inning career with the White Sox, Diamondbacks, Mets and Red Sox.
While Reed is coming off a career-low season in terms of velocity, he nonetheless registered an impressive 2.84 ERA across 76 innings between New York and Boston. It was the second straight year with at least 76 frames for Reed, who ranks fifth among relievers in innings since 2016 (153 2/3). His success has come thanks in part to an aversion to doling out free passes, including in 2017, when he issued 1.78 walks per nine. At the same time, he logged a solid K/9 (9.0) and recorded his highest full-season swinging-strike percentage (13.7).
The Reed signing is the first time Minnesota has given a multiyear deal to an outside reliever, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press notes on Twitter. With Reed, Rodney and Duke in the fold, it’s possible Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine are done making notable improvements to the team’s bullpen this offseason. But they’re sure to add starting pitching help between now and the opening of the season, and it’s perhaps worth noting that their top free agent target, righty Yu Darvish, shares an agency with Reed.
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