Ryan Vogelsong, a 39-year-old righthander who made his MLB debut 17 years ago, has reached a verbal agreement on a minor-league contract with the Twins, according to a source with knowledge of the transaction, and will be invited to the team’s major-league spring training camp to compete for a job.
Should he make the Twins’ 25-man roster, he would be the team’s oldest player since Jim Thome in 2011.
The Twins also have reached a similar agreement with righthander Nick Tepesch, a 28-year-old former member of the Rangers’ starting rotation whose career was waylaid by thoracic outlet syndrome.
Tepesch, a former teammate of Kyle Gibson at the University of Missouri, reached the major leagues in just his third professional season, going 9-17 with a 4.56 ERA in 39 starts for Texas. But he missed the entire 2015 season after experiencing elbow discomfort that eventual required TOS surgery similar to the procedure that Twins starter Phil Hughes underwent last summer. Tepesch started one game for the Dodgers last season, allowing five runs in four innings in June against the Pirates.
After a decade of bouncing between the minor leagues and the Giants and Pirates, and a three-season stint in Japan, Vogelsong experienced a career resurgence in 2011. He won 27 games with a 3.05 ERA over the next two seasons in San Francisco and earned an All-Star berth in 2011.
He went 3-7 with a 4.81 ERA for the Pirates in 2016, and spent 10 weeks on the disabled list after being struck in the face by a pitch from Colorado’s Jordan Lyles.