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.

Twins agree to terms with former Tigers reliever Zumaya

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins pitching Updated: January 15, 2012 - 3:39 PM

The Twins have agreed to a deal with former Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya, pending a physical, a major league official confirmed today.

The agreement was first reported by

Zumaya, 27, is expected to take his physical sometime late this week, perhaps Thursday or Friday, and the Twins plan to be careful not to comment publicly until after everything checks out OK.

The physical will be key because Zumaya has had a history of arm issues. In 2010, he posted a 2.58 ERA in 31 appearances before breaking his right arm on a pitch at Target Field.

But the Twins had scouts on hand for his workout in Dallas recently when he was throwing 92-95 mph, easily, on every fastball.

One key note is that Zumaya has agreed to a non-guaranteed major league deal. This means he'll be given a spot on the 40-man roster, but the Twins would be able to cut him in spring training and not be on the hook for all of the guaranteed money if something doesn't look right.

The contract would pay Zumaya about $800,000, with up to about $900,000 in additional incentives, which are usually based on games pitched.

On the surface, this appears to be a nice low-risk, high-reward deal for the Twins. If Zumaya is throwing anywhere near as well as he was before the injury in 2010, the Twins are getting a steal.


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