La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

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.

Liriano, Perkins agree to one-year contracts

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 17, 2012 - 4:51 PM

The Twins and reliever Glen Perkins have agreed on a $1.55 million contract for 2012, avoiding arbitration. A source with knowledge of contract talks confirmed the deal.

Perkins, who made $700,000 last season, became a valuable bullpen asset in 2011, going 4-4 with a  2.48 ERA, striking out 65 batters in 61.2 innings. Once he was able to focus on a bullpen role, Perkins became overpowering. His fastball averaged 94 miles an hour and his slider 83.6, both career highs.

He will be relied on to be a key part of the bridge to the ninth inning and closer Matt Capps.

Update: Francisco Liriano has agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract to avoid arbitration, a source with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed. Liriano, who will be a free agent after the 2012 season, will be looking for a big year after going 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA last season,

Today is the deadline for teams and players to exchange salary arbitration figures. Last week, 142 players filed for arbitration, so you'll see many last minute signings take place today. Alexi Casilla also is eligible for arbitration.

Update: The Twins failed to reach agreement with infielder Alexi Casilla, who made $865,000 last season. Casilla has filed for $1.75 million next season while the Twins have filed for 1.065 million. The sides will have an arbitration date scheduled, but can still work on a deal to stay out of court.

And it wouldn't surprise me if the Twins go back to Perkins about a multi-year deal down the road.




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