The Twins on Friday announced they have come to terms on one-year contacts with four arbitration-eligible players, including starting third baseman Trevor Plouffe.
Plouffe will make $4.8 million in 2015; the other three signees: left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone, a candidate for the final spot in the Twins’ rotation, will make $2.775 million; right-handed reliever Casey Fien will make $1.375 million; and utility player Eduardo Nunez will make $1.025 million.
That leaves left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing and outfielder Jordan Schafer as the two remaining arbitration-eligible players who have not yet come to terms with the Twins.
Plouffe, 28, has been considered for a couple years to be a placeholder for Miguel Sano at third base. But in 2014, he had his best all-around season in a Twins uniform, making a case that he has a long-term future with the club as well.
Plouffe had 40 doubles and a team-high 80 RBI while improving on defense to the point that advanced metrics show he’s gone from being a liability to above-average at third base. Twins Daily has a good breakdown of his improvement at the position.
Milone was largely ineffective in five starts for the Twins after coming over from Oakland, but he had 25 wins with a 3.92 ERA combined for the A’s in 2012 and 2013 and would give Minnesota a left-handed option in a rotation that is otherwise stacked with righties.
Fien’s strikeout numbers regressed in 2014, but at $1.375 million he remains a reasonable bullpen option at a low cost. Nunez hit .250 in 2014 while playing all over the infield and outfield.