FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — All-Star closer Glen Perkins didn’t exactly enhance his bargaining power when he told the Minnesota Twins he was eager to get a deal done that would enable him to stay at home.
Perkins got his wish Friday, agreeing to a four-year contract that guarantees him $22,175,000.
“I approached them because I wanted to be here,” Perkins said. “I wanted to make that clear, first and foremost, that I believe in what we’re doing here and I wanted to be a part of that. I’m thankful to them for even broaching the subject on something they weren’t required to do.”
Born in St. Paul, Perkins went to the University of Minnesota and was the Twins’ first-round draft pick in 2004.
Perkins had been due $4,975,000 this year and $3.75 million in 2015 under his previous deal, which included a $4.5 million team option for 2016 with a $300,000 buyout.
His new contract gives him $4,025,000 this year, $4.65 million in 2015, $6.3 million in 2016 and $6.5 million in 2017. The Twins have a $6.5 million option for 2018 with a $700,000 buyout.
“I wanted to be here. I grew up in Minnesota. There’s nowhere else that I’ve ever wanted to play,” Perkins said. “And so now, hopefully, this is something where I’ll get to play here for my whole career.”
The 31-year-old lefty converted 36 of 40 save chances last year and was 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA. He had 21 saves at the break and was selected for the AL All-Star team for the first time.
“One less thing to worry about,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Perkins has a 28-17 career record with a 3.89 ERA and 54 saves.
“I’m excited about the commitment they made and look forward to rewarding them, like I did the last two years,” he said. “They gave me a chance in the bullpen a couple years ago and I rewarded them, and I look forward to doing that for the next four, maybe five years.”
Asked whether he might have taken a discount for his services, Perkins replied, “I’ll take a $22 million discount any day of the week. I want to be here, and that’s the most important thing. That’s more money than I need. It’s not about that. It’s about being here and being home.”
The Twins announced the deal while playing a pair of split-squad games. Perkins pitched a hitless inning as Minnesota and Baltimore tied at 2 in Fort Myers. Gardenhire guided the other split squad to a 7-3 win over the New York Yankees in Tampa.
Gardenhire said he’d heard the Twins and Perkins were working on a deal.
“I’m excited for him,” Gardenhire said, adding with a laugh, “I think when the contract’s up, he’ll be in a wheelchair.”
Perkins made his major league debut with the Twins in 2006. He was 12-4 as a full-time starter in 2008, remained in the rotation in 2009 and then began his move to the bullpen.
“The guy’s come a long way from wanting to be a starter and complaining about it,” Gardenhire said, who liked how Perkins had “grown up” with the Twins.
“Very good pitcher with a great arm,” he said.
Kyle Gibson, who made 10 starts for Minnesota last year, was glad to hear Perkins would be sticking around for a while.
“I don’t know if there’s anybody better out there. He’s a great team guy. He’s a leader,” Gibson said after pitching four innings against the Yankees.
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