The Twins and reliever Glen Perkins have agreed on a $1.55 million contract for 2012, avoiding arbitration. A source with knowledge of contract talks confirmed the deal.

Perkins, who made $700,000 last season, became a valuable bullpen asset in 2011, going 4-4 with a  2.48 ERA, striking out 65 batters in 61.2 innings. Once he was able to focus on a bullpen role, Perkins became overpowering. His fastball averaged 94 miles an hour and his slider 83.6, both career highs.

He will be relied on to be a key part of the bridge to the ninth inning and closer Matt Capps.

Update: Francisco Liriano has agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract to avoid arbitration, a source with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed. Liriano, who will be a free agent after the 2012 season, will be looking for a big year after going 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA last season,

Today is the deadline for teams and players to exchange salary arbitration figures. Last week, 142 players filed for arbitration, so you'll see many last minute signings take place today. Alexi Casilla also is eligible for arbitration.

Update: The Twins failed to reach agreement with infielder Alexi Casilla, who made $865,000 last season. Casilla has filed for $1.75 million next season while the Twins have filed for 1.065 million. The sides will have an arbitration date scheduled, but can still work on a deal to stay out of court.

And it wouldn't surprise me if the Twins go back to Perkins about a multi-year deal down the road.



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