For a team that’s supposedly laser-focused on adding to its starting rotation, the Twins sure seem to be spending a lot of time and money on their bullpen.
Saturday brought the surprising news of a two-year agreement with veteran closer Addison Reed for around $17 million, pending a physical. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the deal first.
Reed, 29, has 125 career saves in stops with the Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. Raised in southern California and a product of San Diego State, he reportedly enjoyed his time in the Midwest enough that he deemed that a factor in the Twins’ favor.
Reed becomes the first outside free-agent reliever signed to a multiyear deal in Twins’ history. Almost exactly one month ago, they agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with Fernando Rodney to be their closer, but Rodney has struggled to 15.00 earned run average through four outings in the Dominican Winter League.
Rodney, who turns 41 in March, said upon signing that the Twins had told him he would be their closer, causing him to choose their offer over fellow suitors such as the Detroit Tigers and the Mets.
Reed shares an agency with Japanese pitching star Yu Darvish, the Twins’ stated top priority this winter on the free-agent market. While the market for Darvish and other top starting pitchers continues to drag, the Twins have now committed nearly $24 million in three separate deals to relievers.
They also signed lefty setup man Zach Duke to a one-year, $2.15 million deal on Christmas Day.
Before the Reed agreement, the Twins were looking at an eight-man bullpen for 2018 at a total projected cost of less than $11 million. The Colorado Rockies alone committed $106 million in three-year contracts to Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw at the back of their bullpen this winter.
Reed’s best season in terms of saves came in 2013 with the White Sox, when he saved 40 games. He also worked to a 1.97 ERA in 80 outings for the Mets in a setup role in 2016.
Reed has 13 career postseason outings, all over the past three seasons. He struggled to a 7.71 ERA in three postseason appearances with the Red Sox last October in a divisional round loss to the Houston Astros.
For his career Reed has struck out 9.5 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.3. He also has allowed less than one homer per nine innings.