Perkins signs new extension through ’17 season

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Twins closer Glen Perkins is staying put in his native Minnesota for the foreseeable future.

Perkins, who was already signed to an extension through the 2015 season, restructured his deal and signed a new extension through the 2017 season on Friday.

The left-hander will make $4.025 million this season, $4.65 million in 2015, $6.3 million in ’16 and $6.5 million in ’17. The deal also includes a $6.5 million club option for the ’18 season that includes a $700,000 buyout, guaranteeing Perkins $22.175 million through the ’17 season.

Perkins, a Stillwater, Minn. native who also pitched at the University of Minnesota, said he was the one who first went to the Twins about the extension because he wanted to stay with his hometown club.

“I think the priority was getting it done quickly, which we did,” Perkins said. “I was the one approached them because I want to be here. I made that clear. I believe in what we’re doing here and I want to be a part of that. I’m thankful for them broaching the subject with me, and extending themselves on something they weren’t required to do. So I’m appreciative of that and excited about it.”

Perkins, 31, was an All-Star for the first time last year, when he posted a 2.30 ERA with 36 saves in 40 chances. The lefty also struck out 77 and walked 15 in 62 2/3 innings.

Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said the deal happened quickly after meeting with Perkins’ agent, John Courtwright, on Thursday. Antony added that Perkins wanting an extension came as somewhat as a surprise to the organization because Perkins had already signed an extension before the ’12 season as well.

“It kinda caught me off-guard a little bit because he had a few more years on his deal,” Antony said. “But he was reasonable with what they came with and what they wanted to do. It made some sense for us. When he signed his initial deal it was as a setup guy with some protection if he became closer. This way, he gets treated like a closer. He gets security and we get a deal we’re comfortable with.”

Perkins took over as closer for the Twins during the ’12 season, replacing Matt Capps as closer in late June, and ended that season with a 2.56 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings to go along with 16 saves.

It came after he was moved to the bullpen full-time in ’11, excelling with a 2.48 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 21 walks in 61 2/3 innings as a setup man.

But it wasn’t always easy for Perkins, as he had a combined 5.87 ERA from ’09-10, including a 5.81 ERA in 124 innings at Triple-A Rochester in ’10.

Perkins, though, has found his niche in the bullpen and made it clear that he doesn’t want to pitch for any other club other than the Twins.

“I grew up in Minnesota and there’s nowhere else I want to play,” Perkins said. “So now hopefully this is something where I can play here my whole career.”

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