Zumaya agrees to deal with Twins

The Tigers could end up seeing a lot of Joel Zumaya this year after all. It’ll just be in a different uniform, albeit an awfully familiar one.

After throwing for teams in December and holding out for a roster spot and the right situation, Zumaya has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, the reliever told MLB.com. The two sides spent Saturday putting together a deal that could pay him anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million if he reaches incentives.

Update: Not all of the base salary is guaranteed, a fact first reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. If the Twins decide to part in Spring Training, they’d owe him half of the $800,000 base salary. Thanks to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for pointing out the partial guarantee.

A Twins official would neither confirm nor deny the deal to MLB.com, but said they’ve been in negotiations since December.

Zumaya weighed what he called “good offers” from three other clubs,  but the Twins included guaranteed money rather than a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he’s healthy, they’ll bring him to the same mound at Target Field where he last threw a Major League pitch. He fractured his elbow throwing for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010.

As it turns out, that was his last appearance as a Tiger. Though the Tigers had an offer out to him for a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, they made it clear they weren’t going to guarantee him a spot. Zumaya told MLB.com in November he was most likely moving on, and in the end, the Tigers were not on his short list.

Zumaya joins a Twins bullpen in transition after Joe Nathan left for the Rangers earlier in the offseason. Minnesota re-signed Matt Capps at closer and returns Glen Perkins coming off an impressive season of middle and late-inning work, but while Perkins blossomed into a high-strikeout lefty last year, the Twins haven’t had a truly overpowering reliever in a while.

If Zumaya’s healthy, he has that potential. Though he hasn’t topped 32 games or 40 innings in a season since his impressive rookie season of 2006, he has been an effective reliever when he hasn’t been hurt. He was showing flashes of his old form in 2010 before he was hurt, striking out 34 batters over 38 1/3 innings while allowing 32 hits and posting a 2.58 ERA.

Zumaya underwent surgery after that July injury to repair a fractured bone at the tip of his elbow, a procedure that included inserting a screw to hold the elbow together. He had to undergo a follow-up surgery to replace the screw after complaining of elbow pain last Spring Training.

The surgery cost Zumaya the entire 2011 season. He threw for reportedly up to 20 interested teams last month and reportedly hit the mid-90s on the radar gun. Since then, Zumaya and his agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, have been negotiating with clubs, trying to land him a Major League contract in a situation where he could fit into a good bullpen role. The Red Sox made a hard push early on.

The Twins have a Spring Training game against the Tigers in Lakeland on March 21 before they meet for 18 regular-season matchups, beginning with a two-game series at Comerica Park May 16-17.

39 Comments

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he can’t seem to last a full season , so he is no good to the tigers . i liked him alot , he always spoke to me at tiger games , but the team comes first .

I wish him the best.

I also hope the Twins finish in the cellar.

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I don’t know if the Tigers could have guaranteed him that amount of money without giving him a roster spot but I wish that would have been the case. The chances of that paying off are low, but it sure would be nice to have a fan favorite make his way back in Detroit. It would have been a worthwhile gambit. Add one more to the Tiger’s list of failed potential closers.

I hope he finds success and good health. I don’t know why the Tigers didn’t sign him because I sure wanted to see him pitch again. No one quite like Zoom. He brought excitement and electricity to Tiger fans and was the talk of MLB for several seasons, especially ’06. Just came up to ST and won a spot. He was terrific. I’ll miss him terribly, but will always remember him holding those bottles of champagne in both hands against the fence with the fans clinging to him.

We weren’t in a position to offer that, so good luck, Joel. Stay healthy, my friend.

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Wish Joel well, just not against us. I was at that game in Minnie where he was hurt. It was horrible. Although we did wind up winning that game.

Im watching the Yoennis Cespedes´s team playing. At the web. http://www.lidom.com.do/
He has just have his first at bat. Groundout 5-3. He saw 7 pitches.3-2.,foul and groundout.
Only one fastball in the middle and watched it. He is worked with breakingballs, He lacks agresivity at bat.
He is now 1 for 12.
The pitcher Nelson Figueroa

Andy Dirks is also in the game. Just SO against Fausto Carmona. He is 357 . Went 2 for 5 yesterday. 0 for 2 today

Cespedes flyout to LF on 0-1. 1 for 13 now.

Gracias El Tigre por el “link” para el juego en la RD. Que buena onda ver Andy Dirks y Céspedes en vivo. Hizo muy bueno contacto la última vez.

muy “buen” contacto, disculpe

De nada.

RBI for Dirks. Groundout 4-3. with the 4th ball

Keep us informed, please.

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Well , the “scouting report ” ends here.0 for 4 for Cespedes. Groundout 2-3. Hit the ball to the wall once but to the LF ´s glove

Thanks for the link, El Tigre. Sometimes I can get these games on satellite but not today. Just watched Cespedes AB. Swung at everything.

DD just seems to me to be a pretty smart cookie. I hope he is keeping an ey on Cespedes and is evaluating all the criteria. I trust him. I think he will generaly do the right thing. He is not imperiled with having a mindset and does seem willing to weigh situations out without being encumbered by having preconceptions.
I like the “idea” of a guy like Cespedes but I also like the idea we have keen baseball mind making the decision.

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Joel was a fun kid to watch! I hope him the best whenever he is not facing the Tigers.

porcello agrees to a 3.1M$ contract

Well, I certainly can’t blame the Tigers for not trying to keep him, they have spent some money on a guy that never can stay healthy. I love Zoom and wish him all the best unless he is pitching against us, and hope he can have a healthy year for his sake. I think he is a good guy just got unlucky on his body at times.

Management found out the hard way last year what unreliability in the bullpen can result in. They absolutely need dependable sources in that pen.
Joel, as exciting as a 100 MPH fastball can be, was also prone to giving up big hits at bad times even when he was throwing at his best.
I too wish him well, but again, DD has shown himself to be prudent and astute.

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