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Twins Sign Pitcher Eric Hacker

Posted by: John Bonnes under Roster moves Updated: November 9, 2010 - 1:50 PM

According to a tweet by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Twins have signed pitcher Eric Hacker to a major league deal.

The key in that last sentence is the word “major,” which indicates they expect him to make the roster. The 27-year-old right-hander is probably best described by the word “journeyman.” He has less than a year of major league experience, so he isn’t a traditional free agent. He was just released by the Giants, who he signed a minor league deal with last year. He spent the year in AAA. He started hot, and even was considered to be called up with the Giants in May (over of Madison Bumgarner, who ended up looking like a 21-year-old ace in the playoffs this year). Hacker looks like he cooled considerably as the season went on, finishing with a 4.51 ERA and 129K in 165.2 IP. He doesn’t look like he has outstanding control, as he walked 62.

I’m guessing you’re looking at the Twins new long reliever, in the same way Clay Condrey was the Twins long reliever last year, except, you know, hopefully healthier.

I categorize this as puzzling. It’s not clear why a player of Hacker’s caliber needed a major league deal. It’s equally not clear why he would be more valuable in that role than Jeff Manship, Glen Perkins, or Anthony Swarzak. And for a team that was so protective of 40-man roster moves chooses to spend one on a minor league journeyman pitcher who is going to throw long relief. Oh, well. At least we’ll have some fun with his last name.

Late note: Seth pointed out to me that Hacker has options, so even though it is a guaranteed contract, it likely means its a 2-way deal, meaning the amount of money he makes would vary if he's in the majors or minors. As such, it's not a rue thing that Hacker makes the 25-man roster, and he might be signed as a AAA starter that could possibly find his way into a long relief or swingman role on the major league team. The move makes a little more sense then - it adds some depth, but doesn't commit the Twins too much. If so, it indicates that Twins thought they had some extra room on their 40 man roster that they didn't want to fill with internal options, which isn't a great sign. 

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