Twins start rotation rebuild, sign Dylan Bundy to $5M deal


FILE - Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dylan Bundy (37) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, June 7, 2021, in Los Angeles, Calif. The Minnesota Twins signed right-hander Dylan Bundy to a $5 million, one-year contract on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 taking their first step toward rebuilding a depleted rotation. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins signed right-hander Dylan Bundy to a $5 million, one-year contract on Wednesday, taking their first step toward rebuilding a depleted rotation.

Bundy will make $4 million in 2022. His deal comes with an $11 million club option for 2023 or a $1 million buyout.

Bundy went 2-9 with a 6.06 ERA in 90 2/3 innings last season for the Los Angeles Angels, starting 19 of his 23 appearances and spending time on the injured list with shoulder trouble.

The 29-year-old was 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 65 2/3 innings in 2020, making 11 starts in the pandemic-abbreviated season that were strong enough to finish ninth in the American League Cy Young Award voting.

“This is a guy we think has real bounce-back ability and a guy we’ve always liked,” said president of baseball operations Derek Falvey.

Bundy was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He went 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA in his first full major league season (10-6) and has a career 4.72 ERA in 161 games (133 starts). Bundy was traded to the Angels in 2019.

“Our hope is that we can get him healthy and pitching and we can see a lot more of the 2020 version of Dylan over the course of a full season than we got to see this year,” Falvey said.

Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, both rookies in 2021, are the only starting pitchers who finished the year with the Twins still around.

Minnesota traded José Berríos and J.A. Happ and released Matt Shoemaker at different points during a disappointing 2021. Kenta Maeda went down with an elbow injury, with Tommy John surgery putting his 2022 season in doubt, and Michael Pineda became a free agent. Randy Dobnak could work his way back into the mix, after his 2021 was derailed by a finger injury.

Most of the highest-profile starting pitchers on the market this winter have been snatched up, with teams more urgent to make some improvements ahead of a possible lockout. That leaves only the type of bargain buys the Twins have settled for most often, though there’s always the potential to make trades to supplement the starting pitching.

“I don’t set a perfect number. The joke’s always been like ‘never enough.’ Anyone who says they have enough pitching, they’re lying to you,” said Falvey, who also finalized a seven-year, $100 million contract with center fielder Byron Buxton earlier in the day.

The Twins also agreed this week to terms on one-year contracts to avoid salary arbitration with right-handed relievers Jharel Cotton ($700,000) and Tyler Duffey ($3.8 million) and left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar ($1.3 million). Left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, catcher Mitch Garver and infielder/outfielder Luis Arraez were tendered contract offers and are eligible for arbitration.

Cotton was claimed off waivers from Texas last month. Left-handed reliever Danny Coulombe and right-handed relievers Trevor Megill and Juan Minaya were not tendered contracts and became free agents. Megill was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.

Earlier in the offseason, right-handed reliever Alex Colomé had his contract option declined and became a free agent. Pineda and shortstop Andrelton Simmons were the only other significant players who became free agents.


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Campbell is a sports reporter for The Associated Press, based in Minneapolis. He has covered all of the major teams in Minnesota as well as stories of national interest for the AP since 2000.