As 2019 and the decade of the 2010s came to a close, the Minnesota Twins gave themselves an upgrade. One of their biggest concerns entering the offseason was the starting rotation. Despite missing out on the big name pitchers, they agreed to terms with Homer Bailey and Rich Hill on one-year contracts.
Source: #MNTwins to sign pitchers Homer Bailey and Rich Hill.
— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) December 31, 2019
After posting a 6.09 ERA and 1-14 record in 2018, Bailey enjoyed a nice bounce back season in 2019. He split time with the Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s, and he posted a 13-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 163.1 innings pitched.
Bailey pitched particularly well down the stretch for the A’s. In August, he had a 3.86 ERA in 35 innings pitched. He got better in September as he posted a 2.28 ERA in 23.2 innings. Bailey does have postseason experience albeit a small sample of nine innings, allowing one run, with zero appearances since 2012.
Bailey’s contract is for one year, and he will make $7 million. There are incentives in the deal as well for Bailey pitching 180 innings.
Hill comes to the Twins while rehabbing an elbow injury sustained while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Where Bailey will be expected to give the Twins innings, Hill, when healthy, will be relied on to pitch high-quality innings.
From 2017-2019, Hill did not pitch more than 135.2 innings in any season with only 58.2 in 2019. In spite of that, he pitched to a 3.30 ERA and 122 ERA+ in that span. He also struck batters out at a K/9 rate of 10.7. Hill has more postseason experience than Bailey, amassing 50 innings pitched in October since 2016. In that span, he has a 2.70 ERA and a 11.0 K/9.
Hill will make $3 million in incentives, and he can earn up to an additional $9.5 million in performance bonuses. The incentives top out at 15 games started and 75 innings pitched.
Homer Bailey and Rich Hill give the Twins low-risk commitments to slide into their rotation behind Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi. There will be some question marks, specifically with Hill’s injury and Michael Pineda serving a suspension, but there is a collection of reliable arms with upside for the Twins as they look to replicate their 101 win season from 2019.
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