By Joe Christensen
The Twins have re-signed free agent Nick Punto to a two-year contract with an option for 2011. La Velle has more details from Las Vegas.
“Nick has been an important part of the Twins’ success for the past five years,” General Manager Bill Smith said in the announcement. “He provides great defense up the middle and brings leadership and energy to our lineup.”
Terms of the deal were not released.
Punto, 31, batted .284 (96-for-338) with two homers and 28 RBI in 99 games last season.
On Tuesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters Punto would be his starting shortstop if he re-signed with the team. Other teams who spoke to Punto included the Mets and Phillies.
Update: The deal is for two years, $8.5 million with an option for 2011. Punto will get $4 million in 2009, $4 million in 2010 and the option is for $5 million in 2011 with a $500,000 buyout.