The Minnesota Twins have agreed to a one-year deal with veteran pitcher Matt Shoemaker. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the two sides have agreed to a deal worth $2 million with an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses.
Shoemaker got off to a strong start in his major league career, finishing second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2016. In his first three seasons in the league, Shoemaker compiled a record of 32-27 with a 3.80 ERA but ran into injury issues after taking a line drive off the head in 2016.
The incident resulted in a skull fracture for Shoemaker and required surgery to stop the bleeding on his brain. While the 34-year-old returned to the majors the following season, he has been limited to 32 starts over the past five seasons with an array of shoulder and soft tissue injuries.
The addition of Shoemaker figures to play into the Twins' battle for the fifth spot in the rotation. With Randy Dobnak and Devin Smeltzer as the leading candidates, the team learned that Lewis Thorpe will have a fourth option to the minors due to his injuries (via The Athletic's Aaron Gleeman), which opens the door for a pitcher like Shoemaker to take the spot.
The reported signing also lessens the chance the Twins bring back Jake Odorizzi. The right-hander remains on the market, but Twins Executive Vice President and Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey stated last week that the team was done adding "big-ticket" contracts.
Shoemaker's deal is pending a physical as Twins' pitchers and catchers will report for spring training on Friday.