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Twins sign Shoemaker to one-year, $2m deal

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The pun train continues to chug along.

Wild Card Round - Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays - Game One Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In an effort to replace reliever Sergio Romo’s beard on the roster after he signed with the Oakland Athletics earlier this week, the Minnesota Twins inked a deal with a pitcher with a pretty great beard that I wish I could grow. He’s also a pitcher - a starting pitcher, at that!

Matt Shoemaker will be a Twins player pending a physical and will be netting $2 million this season. As Jeff Passan notes, Shoemaker can also make an additional $250,000 in performance incentives. This move helps Minnesota continue to shore up the pitching rotation in 2021, assuming Shoemaker slots into the fourth or fifth spot.

Shoemaker has spent parts of eight seasons in the majors, breaking in with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2013 with one appearance as a starter. He turned heads in 2014 by posting a 3.04 ERA/3.26 FIP with decent other stats (8.1 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 1.6 BB/9, 8.2 K/9) and getting second place for Rookie of the Year. Since then, it’s been an up-and-down type of ride for the 34-year-old righty. Injuries have sidelined him at least once each season he has been in the majors. Most recently while with the Toronto Blue Jays, he’s suffered a torn ACL in his left knee (2019, started five games) and right shoulder inflammation (2020, started six games). He suffered a right forearm strain in 2018 that allowed him to play in only seven games.

The Twins’ 40-man roster is booked right now, so a corresponding move will need to be made as long as the physical pans out. In the meantime, he may have to resort to making shoes. (LOL)

Welcome to Twins Territory, Matt Shoemaker, and sorry for all of the upcoming puns!