Twins sign two righties to minors

  • Article by: La Velle E. Neal III
  • Star Tribune
  • January 3, 2007 - 10:31 PM

The Twins have signed righthanders Sidney Ponson and Brad Voyles to minor league deals.

It proves the Twins haven't settled on using prospects such as righthanders Scott Baker and Matt Garza and lefthander Glen Perkins in the rotation.

While talking about the Ponson signing, Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said: "It provides competition and choices. You don't want to go into camp just handing out jobs. And there's always a chance someone will get injured. I don't want to be backed into a corner and I want to give the manager and pitching coach options."

Ponson, 30, will make $1 million if he makes the team and could earn another $2 million in incentives. He was 17-12 with a 3.75 ERA in 2004, parlaying that into a three-year, $22.5 million deal with Baltimore. But he was charged with assaulting a judge in his home country of Aruba in 2004, then was twice arrested for drunken driving in 2005.

Ponson ultimately had his contract voided and spent last season with St. Louis and the Yankees, going 4-5 with a 6.25 ERA.

"I would hope he has put those problems behind him," Ryan said.

Voyles, 29, was 1-2 with a 2.78 ERA for Pastora of the Venezuelan winter league earlier this offseason and was recommended to Ryan. He will be invited to spring training as well.

The Twins also have expressed interest in free agent pitchers Ramon Ortiz and Bruce Chen.

La Velle E. Neal III •

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