According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the Twins have agreed to terms with right handed pitcher Joel Zumaya. The Twins have not yet confirmed the deal but Zumaya told Beck that the agreement was for one year – $800,000. The deal could reach $1.7 million based on incentives in the agreement Beck reports (link).
In my Offseason Blueprint I suggested that the Twins take a chance on Zumaya this offseason. Zumaya has been extremely injury prone throughout his major league career. He has not thrown more than 33.1 innings since his rookie season in 2006 (83.1 innings).
This is a great signing by Terry Ryan as it is a very low risk, potentially high reward signing if Zumaya is able to stay healthy. Of course, that is a big “if”. 1500ESPN’s Phil Mackey tweeted (link) that Zumaya was clocked throwing 92-94 MPH in front of roughly 20 scouts earlier this offseason in a private workout.
Zumaya gives the Twins exactly what they need; a hard throwing right hander who can be brought into the game in late inning situations against right handed hitters. For a bullpen which struggled a lot last year and lost former All Star closer Joe Nathan to the Texas Rangers, this was much needed.
Before an arm injury shortened his 2010 season and cost him all of 2011, Zumaya was in All Star form. He struck out 34 batters over 38.1 innings while allowing 32 hits and posting a 2.58 ERA. Zumaya fractured a bone in his elbow while pitching against the Twins at Target Field that year, something any Twins fan who was watching still remembers.
As a Twins fan, there is no reason not to like this deal. It would be nice to see the Twins sign at least one more right hander as insurance if Zumaya goes down again but I wouldn’t count on it.
This signing fills the last spot on the Twins 40 man roster and should put them very close to the $100 million budget target GM Terry Ryan set at the start of the offseason.
If Zumaya stays healthy this season…..this signing could turn out to be an absolute steal.
Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts on the signing. Do you like the deal or not?
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