Twins sign Dozier to 4-year extension
The Minnesota Twins announced Tuesday that they have signed second baseman Brian Dozier to a four-year, $20 million contract extension. which locks him up through the 2018 season. Dozier, 27, will make $2 million this season, $3 million in 2016, ...
The Minnesota Twins announced Tuesday that they have signed second baseman Brian Dozier to a four-year,
$20 million contract extension. which locks him up through the 2018 season.
Dozier, 27, will make $2 million this season, $3 million in 2016, $8 million in 2017 and $9 million in 2018. Dozier would have been eligible for salary arbitration following this season, so the deal buys out all three years of arbitration.
The sides talked about a deal last year during spring training but could not reach common ground. They vowed to meet again this spring and were able to strike a deal,
It keeps one of the most productive second baseman in baseball in a Twins uniform for the next several years. Dozier last year was the first player in Twins history - and only player in the league last year - with more than 100 runs scored, 30 doubles, 20 home runs, 80 walks and 20 stolen bases. The average annual value of $5 million could be viewed as a Twins-friendly deal, as that ranks Dozier well outside the top 10 among second baseman in teams of AAV.
Dozier batted .242 last season with 23 home runs, 71 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who has 100 fewer days of service time than Dozier, signed a five-year $35 million contract last year. And Gyorko batted .210 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs last season. But Dozier will be a free agent a year earlier than Gyorko, and he will be 30 in 2018.
GARNETT TO THROW OUT CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH
Long and lean Kevin Garnett has less than three weeks to limber up his right arm for throwing the ceremonial first pitch ahead of the Twins’ home opener.
The honor bestowed on the newly returned 6-foot-11 Minnesota Timberwolf is one of many events making up festivities for the April 13 opener vs. the American League champion Kansas City Royals.
Garnett has first-pitch history. The day after he left the Timberwolves and signed with the Boston Celtics, Garnett took the mound at Fenway Park on Aug. 1, 2007, for a pregame toss to a familiar face behind the plate, former Twins and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
The Twins’ 2015 Opening Day unfurls at 6 a.m. with free breakfast on the Target Field plaza. When the gates open at 1 p.m., Twins legends Bert Blyleven, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek and Tom Kelly will be at the entrances to greet fans.
Game time is scheduled for 3:10 p.m., and it kicks off the three-game series vs. Kansas City.
A ballpark-wide photo will be taken during the third inning. Fans are being asked to be in their seats for the shot. They can then visit twinsbaseball.com/tagoramic to tag themselves in the photo.
Limited seats and standing-room tickets are available.
CATCHER PINTO NEARLY READY FOR RETURN
Catcher Josmil Pinto’s concussion-like symptoms are gone, Pinto and general manager Terry Ryan said Tuesday.
Pinto is hopeful he’ll gain medical clearance to resume baseball activity in the coming days.
“We’re taking our time,” Ryan said, “but he’s better. He’s doing better every day.”
Ryan said the Twins recently contacted the commissioner’s office to discuss Pinto’s symptoms.
“We told them we’re going to monitor them,” Ryan said.
On March 21, Pinto’s head took three blows from the follow-through of Adam Jones’ swing. After the third, Pinto said, he suffered headaches and dizziness.
He did not recall experiencing pain and said he could not recall any previous concussions in his career, which dates to 2005 as a professional.
“I don’t remember (it) very well,” Pinto said of the Jones’ swing. “I know it was the third time. They just took me out of the game for precautionary reasons.”
Asked if he believed he suffered a concussion, he shook his head.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know all that. If the doctors say that, probably.”
Ryan said he probably would have placed Pinto on the seven-day concussion disabled list if this were the regular season but because there is no disabled list, for concussions or anything else, at this point in spring training, Ryan said the hope remains Pinto would be cleared sooner.