Matt Shoemaker agrees to one-year deal with Twins

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The Minnesota Twins are in agreement with former Toronto Blue Jays starter Matt Shoemaker.

The Minnesota Twins are still reeling from their sweep in their AL Wild Card Series against the seventh-seeded Houston Astros. Looking to make a deeper push in the postseason in 2021, the Twins re-signed slugger Nelson Cruz and brought in the likes of shortstop Andrelton Simmons, veteran starter J.A. Happ and closer Alex Colome, formerly of the rival Chicago White Sox. The Twins were not done adding to their rotation just yet.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Twins have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Matt Shoemaker on a one-year, $2 million contract. Shoemaker can earn an additional $250,000 if he meets certain performance incentives.

Shoemaker looking to make a statement in Minnesota

Shoemaker broke onto the scene back in 2014 with the Los Angeles Angels, where he led the league in win-loss percentage (.800) and finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Shoemaker was never able to replicate that campaign and was non-tendered by the Angels in 2018. The right-hander signed on with the Blue Jays that winter.

The veteran was impressive through five games of the 2019 season, as he posted a 1.57 ERA, 0.872 WHIP and 3-0 record. But in his fifth start, Shoemaker tore the ACL in his left knee, thus ending his season.

This past season, Shoemaker recorded a 4.71 ERA, 1.081 WHIP and 26 strikeouts over 28.2 innings of work (six games). However, he was sidelined for nearly a month with a right lat strain in the truncated campaign. Shoemaker did pitch in Game 1 of Toronto’s AL Wild Card Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, where he struck out two batters and surrendered two hits in three innings in the 3-1 loss.

With the deal agreed upon, Shoemaker slots in as a backend starter in Minnesota’s rotation behind Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda and Happ. The Twins are hoping that the signings they made this Hot Stove season will be enough to help propel them to their first AL Championship Series since 2002.

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