The Twins signed veteran righty Brad Peacock to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A St. Paul, Brandon Warne of Access Twins tweets. Peacock was recently granted his release from a minor league deal with the Royals.
Once a high quality starter and reliever for the Astros, the now-34-year-old Peacock’s career has been derailed by injuries in recent seasons — most notably 2020 shoulder surgery. Peacock also battled persistent neck and shoulder issues throughout the 2019 campaign.
From 2016-19, Peacock was one of the most valuable and underrated members of the Houston staff, logging a combined 320 1/3 innings of 3.48 ERA ball through 42 starts and another 86 relief appearances. He handled both roles well, pitching as a starter, a one-inning setup option and a multi-inning reliever throughout that time.
Unfortunately, thanks to the slate of neck and shoulder issues, Peacock has pitched a total of 7 2/3 Major League inning since that time. The results have been poor, to say the least: 11 runs on nine hits, four walks and a pair of hit batsmen. He’s fanned just six of 38 opponents in that time (15.8%) and worked with diminished fastball velocity.
None of that sounds particularly promising, but Peacock’s 2022 campaign gives far greater cause for optimism. The right-hander was nothing short of outstanding with the Royals’ top affiliate this year, pitching to a 1.64 ERA with a 27.6% strikeout rate, a 9.8% walk rate and a strong 50% ground-ball rate through 38 1/3 innings of relief (across 35 appearances).
The Twins are widely expected to acquire at least one, if not multiple relievers between now and Tuesday’s 5pm CT trade deadline, and the signing of Peacock won’t change that outlook or reduce their urgency to augment what has been an awful bullpen outside of righties Jhoan Duran and Griffin Jax. That said, there’s no harm in taking what’s effectively a free look at a once-excellent reliever who’s enjoying a resurgence at the Triple-A level this season. If Peacock continues to show well with the Saints, it’s conceivable that he could get a look in the Majors sooner than later, but his addition amounts to little more than a dice roll that will complement more impactful acquisition(s) in the coming few days.