The Twins on Tuesday added a left-handed candidate for their bullpen, signing former Giants reliever Dan Runzler to a minor-league contract, the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings announced.
Runzler, 30, posted a 3.86 ERA in 89 appearances, including one start, over four seasons from 2009-12. A former ninth-round pick in the 2007 draft out of Cal-Riverside, Runzler rose from Class A to the majors in 2009 on the strength of a fastball that could reach 97 mph. But his career was derailed by a knee injury in 2010, which interrupted a season in which his ERA was just 3.03 in 32 2/3 innings.
He spent last year with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A team until July, then joined the independent Sugar Land Skeeters after being released. He allowed one run in 17 1/3 innings with Sugar Land, and was signed by the Twins to a contract with Rochester. With the Twins’ bullpen in flux, he could be a candidate for the lefty specialist job manned by Aaron Thompson and Ryan O’Rourke. For his career, Runzler has held major league left-handers to a .212 batting average.
In addition to Runzler, the Twins have re-signed a pair of players who spent 2015 with Rochester, including the team’s Most Valuable Player. Reynaldo Rodriguez, who led the International League with 81 runs scored, and catcher Carlos Paulino have agreed to minor-league deals for 2016.
Rodriguez, a 29-year-old first baseman and outfielder, batted .255 with 16 home runs and 34 doubles in 2015 and was named the Red Wings’ MVP. Paulino, 26, batted .257 in 34 games after being promoted from Class AA Chattanooga.