Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Duensing, Plouffe, Swarzak agree to contracts

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: January 17, 2014 - 12:27 PM

    For the eighth consecutive season, the Twins will not need an arbitration hearing to settle on contracts for their eligible players. All three such players -- third baseman Trevor Plouffe, righthander Anthony Swarzak and lefthander Brian Duensing -- agreed to one-year contracts on Friday.

    Plouffe agreed to a salary  of $2.35 million, the team announced Friday, more than four times his 2013 pay of $520,000, after a season in which the 27-year-old former first-round pick batted .254 in 129 games, with 14 home runs and a .309 on-base percentage.

    Duensing, in his second year of arbitration eligibility, will earn $2 million, a raise of $700,000 from his 2013 salary of $1.3 million. The former starter, who turns 31 next month, posted a 3.98 ERA in 61 innings last year, his first in which he worked exclusively out of the bullpen.

    Swarzak's salary will be $935,000 in 2014, an 86 percent raise over the $502,500 he was paid in 2013. Swarzak, 28, had a 2.91 ERA in 96 innings last year and developed into a dependable long reliever, but openly longed for a return to the starting rotation. He'll get a chance to earn the job in spring training, and if he makes 10 starts this year, will earn an additional $25,000.

     Players can file for arbitration after three seasons, in general, though the Twins have not needed a hearing before an arbitrator since 2006, when they lost a case to pitcher Kyle Lohse.

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