When the bullpen collapsed last year, it was largely due to the fact that Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, and Jesse Crain departed when the Twins did not want to spend $3 to $4 million per year over multiple years to keep them. Perhaps that was in the back of Terry Ryan’s head when he decided to extend Glen Perkins’s contract this week. Perkins will pull down $10.5 million total over the next three years. It’s too early to tell if this will be a good deal for the Twins, and one could argue that it would have made more sense to wait until after the season and see if Perkins could replicate his 2011 success. On the other hand, according to Fangraphs, Perkins’s performance was worth $7.8 million last year, so $3.5 million per year is a very cost-effective if he’s even close to that effective. And hey, it never hurts to keep the local guy on the team, right? Perkins was born in Stillwater and went to college at the University of Minnesota, and he’ll be a relative bargain earning almost $20 million less per year than fellow Minnesotan Joe Mauer.
Whatever happens, don’t worry – Puckett’s Pond will not hesitate to use 20/20 hindsight. I will complain fiercely about this contract if Perkins flops, and I will loudly congratulate Ryan’s good sense three years from now if it turns out well!
Is it too early to get excited about Francisco Liriano? He went three Thursday yesterday and faced the minimum number of hitters (he did allow a leadoff hit to Desmond Jennings, who was thrown out stealing). Liriano struck out five Rays in the process. Combine that with his first outing, and he has allowed just three base runners in five innings with seven strikeouts. I know we shouldn’t put too much faith in Spring Training numbers, since a lot of the guys Liriano is striking out are AA and AAA level players, but it’s sure better to see that shining 0.00 ERA than it would be if he was getting knocked around.
Liriano is thriving, but the Minnesota bats are not. They’ve scored a total of seven runs in the last five games. I’m not ready to officially start worrying about the offense for at least a week or two, since more than half the at bats at this point are coming from AA and AAA-type players, but it would be a lot more fun if the Twins could start scoring runs in bunches. So get on that, Twins.
Finally, if you have not yet read Call to the Pen’s Twins season preview, you are a horrible person and I do not want to talk to you anymore. I’m kidding, of course. We can still be friends as long as you click on that link and take a look right now.