Twins agree to terms with all arb-eligible players except Luis Arraez
Minnesota and Chris Paddack agree to 3-year extension
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have avoided arbitration with seven players, agreeing to contract terms with six for the 2023 season — and one for longer. But their eighth arbitration-eligible player, Luis Arraez, did not come to terms, and instead, the two sides could be headed to a hearing.
Arraez and the Twins could still potentially come to an agreement to avoid arbitration, which often is in February. But if they don’t, it would be their first trip to arbitration since 2020, when they won their hearing against starting pitcher Jose Berrios.
Arraez, who won the American League batting title in 2022, earned $2.125 million last season. MLB Trade Rumors projections place Arraez around $5 million next season. The 25-year-old posted a 4.4 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference), hitting .316 last season and serving often as a spark atop the Twins’ lineup. He shifted around the infield, eventually settling in at first base, a new position for him, where he earned a Gold Glove nomination.
While the Twins could not agree upon 2023 terms with Arraez, they were able to sign up one of their arbitration-eligible players to an extension, agreeing to a three-year deal with starting pitcher Chris Paddack which will take him through the 2025 season, a source confirmed. Paddack would not have hit free agency for two more seasons, so the deal locks up his first year of free agency.
Paddack, whom the Twins acquired right at the beginning of the 2022 season, only pitched in five games before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He said in September that he was targeting August for his return. The pathway to returning will take him longer than a typical Tommy John recovery because this was his second time undergoing the surgery.
Starting pitcher Tyler Mahle will earn $7.5 million next season. Mahle, who the Twins landed at the deadline, did not pitch much after the trade deadline because of shoulder issues, but the Twins have said he is tracking well and is expected to be an important part of their rotation next season.
Utilityman Kyle Farmer, acquired in November from Cincinnati, will make $5.585 million. With shortstop Carlos Correa back in the fold, expect Farmer to be moving around the infield. President of baseball operations Derek Falvey also mentioned earlier this week that Farmer had some corner outfield experience, though he’s only played four innings in left field in the majors.
Relief pitcher Jorge Lopez, acquired at the trade deadline, will earn $3.525 million, a decent bump after an all-star season. Lopez posted a 2.54 earned-run average in 67 games over 71 innings. The numbers were far better in Baltimore, though, ahead of the trade. With the Twins, Lopez walked 14 batters and gave up 11 runs in his 22 2/3 innings (4.37 ERA) to end the season.
Emilio Pagan, whose late-inning struggles eventually forced him out of high-leverage situations, will make $3.5 million next season. Left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar, coming off a season in which he led all Twins pitchers with 67 appearances and posted a 3.49 ERA, will make $2.4 million in 2023.
Reliever Jorge Alcala, whom the Twins have said is healthy after a 2022 season in which he threw in just two games, will make $790,000, a slight bump over league minimum. A healthy Alcala, who underwent an arthroscopic debridement surgery on his right elbow last season, could be an important piece in the Twins’ bullpen.
Twins’ non-roster invitees
The Twins announced Friday that they have invited 25 players to big-league camp, a list that includes a mix of veterans and prospects.
Top prospect Brooks Lee, whom the Twins drafted eighth overall last year, is among the group, as is Austin Martin, the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft, and Aaron Sabato, the Twins’ first-round pick from 2020.
The group also includes pitcher Blayne Enlow, who the Twins designated for assignment earlier this month. Enlow cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A. Thirteen of the 25 players have appeared in the majors, including pitcher Randy Dobnak and reliever Danny Coulombe.
Pitchers and catchers will report to camp on Feb. 15. The rest of the group will join on Feb. 19, and the first full-team workout is slated for Feb. 20.
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