The Twins finalized their deal with Blake Parker on Monday and, to make room on their 40-man roster, designated for reassignment fellow righthanded reliever John Curtiss.
Curtiss, 25, pitched in 17 games for the Twins over the past two seasons. He seems likely to be claimed by another team over the next seven days, as relievers who can hit 96 miles per hour on the radar gun are valued. The Twins lost Aaron Slegers to the Pirates on waivers last week after the righthander was DFA’d to make room on the roster for Nelson Cruz.
It was reported last week that Parker would join the Twins. He gets a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.8 million, but he can make up to an additional $1.4 million — $3.2 million total — based on active roster days, meaning by staying off the disabled list.
A 33-year-old veteran of four big-league bullpens who had a breakout season with the Angels in 2017, Parker is the Twins’ first addition to their relief corps this offseason. He broke into the major leagues in 2012 with the Cubs, who selected him in the 16th round of the 2006 draft, but pitched only 90 ⅔ innings (with a 3.87 ERA) in the majors through 2016. Los Angeles claimed him off waivers in 2017, however, and his career suddenly blossomed.
In 138 games with the Angels, Parker went 5-4 with a 2.90 ERA and 22 saves. He held hitters to a .172 average in 2017, striking out 86 hitters in 67 ⅓ innings while walking only 16. Opponents hit .249 off him last year, when he struck out 70 in 66⅓ innings with 19 walks.
The Twins are likely to sign at least one more reliever before spring training.
Organization set up
The Twins officially named their minor league managers and coaching staffs Monday.
At Class AAA Rochester, Joel Skinner is back for his second year as manager. Pitching coach Stu Cliburn (fourth season), hitting coach Javier Valentin (fifth) and bullpen coach Mike McCarthy (second) also return to the Red Wings.
The team’s new Class AA affiliate, the Pensacola (Fla.) Blue Wahoos, will be managed by Ramon Borrego, who led the Twins’ Fort Myers Class A team in 2018.
Toby Gardenhire will manage Class A Fort Myers after being the skipper at Cedar Rapids last season. Brian Dinkelman will manage at Class A Cedar Rapids after spending last season as the Kernels hitting coach.
The rookie team at Elizabethton will be managed by Ray Smith for the 26th season. The rookie level Gulf Coast League Twins, based in Fort Myers, will be managed by Robbie Robinson. In the Dominican Summer League, Seth Feldman will manage the Twins’ entry.
The Twins signed 27-year-old righthander Jeff Ames to a minor league contract, a source said. He spent most of last season with Class AA Harrisburg (a Washington affiliate) and Biloxi (Milwaukee) and hasn’t pitched in the major leagues.
Drafted by Tampa Bay in 2011 (supplemental phase, 42nd overall), Ames made it as high as Class AAA with Durham in 2017 (78 strikeouts in 63 innings) and Colorado Springs in 2018 (only three games pitched).