The Twins have informed veteran reliever Glen Perkins that his $6.5 million club option for 2018 will be declined, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reported Wednesday morning. Though Perkins could return to the organization on a Minor League deal this winter, he is expected to retire if an agreement is not reached.
Once a dominant closer in Minnesota, Perkins has dealt with shoulder problems in each of the last two seasons, limiting him to just 7.2 innings pitched since 2016. The 34-year-old has reached the end of his four-year, $22.18 million contract signed in 2014 in the wake of his most dominant season in the majors (2.30 ERA, 11.1 K/9, 36 SV in 2013). The Twins will pay Perkins a $700k buyout, making Perkins an unrestricted free agent.
Perkins, a first-round pick of the Twins in 2004, has spent all 12 years of his big league career in Minnesota, amassing 228 saves and a 3.88 lifetime-ERA. The left-hander was selected to three consecutive All-Star games between 2013-2015, a three-year stretch in which he held a commanding 3.08 ERA and 9.8 K/9 at the backend of the Twins' bullpen.
Bullpen depth figures to be one of the main areas of concern for the Twins this offseason, as the club transitions to a contender without a lockdown reliever in the late innings. While no superstar relievers are set to become free agents this winter, impending-free-agent and former-Twins closer Brandon Kintzler could serve as a longterm solution in the later innings for Minnesota this winter.