Guerrier, Twins avert hearing
Reliever, team reach one-year deal before salary arbitration
MINNEAPOLIS -- Pitcher Matt Guerrier and the Twins have reached agreement on a one-year contract to avoid arbitration, the team announced Thursday.Guerrier signed for the midpoint figure, $1.475 million, between the two salaries submitted. The right-hander had asked for $1.75 million, while Minnesota had offered $1.2 million. In 2008, Guerrier made $950,000. Last season, Guerrier became the Twins' primary eighth-inning reliever after Pat Neshek went down with an elbow injury in early May. Guerrier got off to a strong start, posting a 3.05 ERA over his first 47 innimgs before his numbers took a tumble in the second half following a very heavy work load. Guerrier finished the year with a 6-9 record and a 5.19 ERA in 76 appearances. "He pitched over 150 games over the last two years, and that's a lot of work," general manager Bill Smith said of Guerrier. "At the same time, I think last year was a growing period for him. I talked quite a bit with Ron Gardenhire and [pitching coach] Rick Anderson, and they are both fully confident that Matt Guerrier is going to bounce back and be a big part of our bullpen this year."
Early in the week there were reports the Twins and Guerrier could be heading to an arbitration hearing. But after reaching agreement Thursday, both sides were very happy to have avoided going through that part of the process."We felt Matt was deserving of a midpoint settlement in this case and we think he has been justly rewarded," said Joe Bick, Guerrier's agent. "He loves being a very important aspect of the Twins' bullpen, and we hope that he can spend his entire career here. That tends not to happen if you end up in a hearing. So this is the best outcome for all involved." With Guerrier's signing, the Twins no longer have any remaining arbitration-eligibles. Minnesota previously signed their only other potential case, designated hitter Jason Kubel, to a two-year, $7.2 million contact with a club option for 2011.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.