Perkins, 34, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and spent the entirety of his baseball career (save for the time he spent in the Twins’ minor-league system) playing for teams based in Minnesota. Perkins spent two seasons at the University of Minnesota and was selected by the Twins in the first round of the 2004 MLB Draft.
He made his major-league debut in September of 2006, and after working exclusively as a reliever during the 2006-07 seasons, he worked primarily out of the rotation in 2008-09. He moved back to the bullpen in 2010 and really began to find his groove in 2011, posting ERAs under 3.00 while making at least 60 appearances in each season from 2011-13. He took over as the Twins’ closer in late June of 2012 and held that role through the end of the 2015 season, collecting over 30 saves in each season from 2013-15 while making three straight AL All-Star teams during that span.
Perkins was limited to just 10 appearances over his last two seasons due to shoulder issues, undergoing rotator cuff surgery in June of 2016 while dealing with soreness both before and after the operation. He posted a 9.39 ERA in 2016-17, and with the end of his Twins tenure appearing to be imminent in September of last season, Perkins received a fitting sendoff, getting a loud ovation as he kept the ball following his last out and then got emotional in the dugout.
The Twins declined Perkins’ $6.5 million club option for 2018 in October, instead giving him a $700,000 buyout and making him a free agent.
Levine reportedly mentioned that the Twins would be open to giving Perkins a front-office role, as they’ve done with former players Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, LaTroy Hawkins, Torii Hunter, and Jim Kaat since Levine and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey took over in October of 2016. That kind of role would certainly be appropriate for the man who’s basically spent his entire baseball life in the Twin Cities.