Twins General Manager Terry Ryan on Friday gave many reasons for the decision to sign Ryan Doumit to a two-year, $7 million contract extension.
"He seems like a good fit to this club," Ryan said. "He's here early. He's good in the clubhouse. Knock on wood, but he's been durable; you can put him out there. He's got versatility. He can DH. He's in the right league, for sure. He's got some sock in his bat.
"I guess all the reasons we signed him in the first place have graduated into having him hang around here. And he felt the same way. That made it easy for this thing to come around."
Doumit, 31, is batting .271 with seven homers and 32 RBI. He has caught, played in the outfield, been the designated hitter and even played first base once this season. His presence frees Joe Mauer up to play first or be the DH when he needs to. Doumit's skills fit the Twins well.
"So I'll bring my 19 gloves with me and keep working," Doumit said. "Whenever I can get in the lineup. The bottom line is this is where I wanted to be and I'm very excited to know this is where I'll be for the next couple years."
Doumit will receive $3.5 million in 2013 and '14. It's a good deal for the Twins, who will need money to address roster shortcomings this offseason. He is making $3 million this season after signing as a free agent following seven seasons with the Pirates and jumped at the chance to stick around two more years.
"The last couple days, it was brought to my attention they were interested in bringing me back, which was very flattering, obviously,'' Doumit said. "The feeling was mutual. I called my agent. I said, 'Let's get something done.'
"I love being here. It's a great situation for me. It's a great clubhouse. There's a great group of guys here. I'm excited to be here. There's no doubt in my mind we're gonna right this ship and I'm glad to know I'll be aboard when we do."
Waldrop on way back
Righthander Kyle Waldrop appeared to have a spot on the Opening Day roster locked up.
"I pretty much though he was going to be on our ballclub,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "until he got hurt."
Waldrop suffered a right elbow strain this spring, killing his chances of breaking camp with the team. As it turned out, Waldrop needed time for rehabilitation and to pitch in some games before he was deemed ready for a return.
He began a rehab assignment late last month at Class A Fort Myers, then moved to Class AAA Rochester. He posted a 1.28 ERA in nine appearances for the Red Wings and said his pitches got sharper with every outing.
Gardenhire said Waldrop will be used in the sixth and seventh innings, but needs to see him pitch some before determining if he can handle more important situations.
"I'm excited to see him get back out there," Gardenhire said.
Waldrop is just relieved to get his season going. "Obviously, this is where you want to be," he said.
• Outfield prospect Joe Benson, working his way back from hamate bone surgery with the Twins' rookie team in the Gulf Coast League, left Thursday's game after two at-bats when his wrist became sore. The Twins will back him off and let him play again when he feels better.
• The Twins observed a moment of silence before the game for pitcher Paul Bargas, who died Tuesday from brain cancer at age 23. He was traded to the Twins before the 2011 season but never pitched for them.