SARASOTA, FLA. – Righthander Kyle Gibson and the Twins failed to agree to a multiyear contract during the offseason. He did sign a one-year, $8.125 million deal on Jan. 13, fully aware the sides could meet again in the near future.
And the future has arrived, as Gibson acknowledged Thursday that the sides continue to discuss a long-term contract. Gibson hopes that, this time around, traction will be found that leads to a new deal.
“It’s a place I’d definitely would like to be,” Gibson said. “It’s really just trying to figure out what makes sense for the Twins and if it is something they want to do as well.”
Randy Rowley, Gibson’s agent, has been in Fort Myers, Fla., the past several days and has met with the Twins.
Gibson, 31, is coming off a 10-13 season during which he posted a 3.62 ERA and set career highs in innings, strikeouts, strikeouts per nine innings and batting average against. He made $4.2 million in 2018, which served as the jumping-off point for talks concerning his 2019 salary. When the sides realized they could not strike a multiyear deal, they worked out a one-year deal to avoid arbitration while intending to revisit discussions.
It’s not unusual for sides to revisit talks after signing a one-year deal. Max Kepler signed a $3.125 million deal in January and then on Jan. 15 announced a five-year, $35 million extension.
Gibson was a 2009 first-round pick and endured Tommy John surgery in 2011. He made the majors in 2013 and worked his way into becoming a vital part of the rotation.
“It’s a place I’d like to be,” Gibson said. “It’s fans I’d like to play in front of and a city I like to live in. Hopefully we can get something done.”
Perez hit around
Lefthander Martin Perez had been one of the surprises of camp, altering his delivery and hitting up to 97 mph.
His velocity was good on Thursday, but his location was off. He gave up five runs over the first two innings, including home runs by Victor Robles and Juan Soto. That forced a mound visit by pitching coach Wes Johnson, who told him he was out of whack, mechanically.
Perez did rally, retiring six of the final seven batters he faced.
“It’s not the start I wanted, but I finished strong,” Perez said. “That’s what we were looking for.”
Righthander Zack Littell, who threw one scoreless inning during exhibition league action, was optioned to Class AAA Rochester. That puts the Twins camp roster at 46.
Righthander Michael Pineda will make his fourth appearance of the as the Twins host Baltimore. He gave up three runs, including two home runs, during his last outing Sunday. Blake Parker and Trevor May are among the pitchers scheduled to follow Pineda. Righthander Erick Fedde will start for Baltimore.
La Velle E. Neal Iii