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Twins Reportedly Sign Pablo López to 4 Year Extension

The deal keeps the Twins new ace in Minnesota until 2027.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Early this morning, Craig Mish of The Miami Herald reported that the Minnesota Twins and starter Pablo López were close to agreeing to a 4-year, $73.5 million extension. Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic later confirmed the report.

The reported deal buys out López’s final arbitration year in 2024, and tacks on 3 additional free agent years for the Twins. Assuming he would have gotten around $10 million in arbitration next season, it’s essentially a 3-year, $63 million extension for the starter. The deal makes plenty of sense from López’s side, as it locks him into a competitive team with a good salary, while still allowing him to be a free agent prior to his age-32 season and get one more big contract.

For the Twins, it’s hard to imagine getting a better extension in place than this. The AAV of this contract puts him in a similar range as what mid-rotation starters have been signing for in recent offseasons, such as Jameson Taillon’s deal with the Cubs last offseason (4/$68 million, $17 million AAV). Looking at other similar extensions as well, such as Logan Webb’s with the San Francisco Giants (5/$90 million), the Twins clearly got a team-friendly deal from López.

Another good comparison is old friend Jose Berrios. While Berrios has not been very good since heading over to Toronto, he was in a similar situation when he signed his 7-year, $131 million extension. With a year of team control remaining, Berrios got a similar AAV, but stretched it out for 3 years longer to bring up the lump sum. The fact that the Twins were able to get Pablo López for almost half of what Berrios cost is a steal. As our own John Foley put it in our Slack channel, we’re getting Twins Pablo at the Marlins Pablo price.

López joins Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton as core Twins players who have locked in big-money extensions to stay in Minnesota long-term. It’s a welcome change for the Twins, whose previous largest contract given to a pitcher was Ervin Santana’s 4-year, $54 million guarantee. That’s not necessarily to any fault of their own. They were reportedly squarely in the mix for both Yu Darvish and Zack Wheeler in recent offseasons, offering similar money to their $100 million+ deals they signed with the Cubs and Phillies, respectively. However, with López, they found a starting pitcher with ace potential who wants to be in Minnesota.

The deal is still (holds breath) pending a physical, so it likely won’t be announced by the Twins until Wednesday or Thursday, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing any Carlos Correa-esque hijinks this time around.