By Joe Christensen
The Twins reached agreement today on a one-year, $1.3 million contract with free agent reliever Luis Ayala, pending a physical, Ayala’s agent Joe Longo told the Star Tribune.
Ayala, 31, went 2-10 with a 5.71 ERA and nine saves in 86 appearances last year with the Nationals and Mets, handling a heavy workload despite a groin injury.
After getting traded from Washington to New York, Ayala stepped into the closer’s role for the Mets and converted nine of 11 save opportunities. The righthanded sinkerball specialist went 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA the previous year with Washington.
The Twins agreed to pay Ayala up to $575,000 in performance incentives. After losing setup man Pat Neshek to an elbow injury in November, they’ve explored numerous trade and free agent options.
“He’s happy to go in there and fight for that setup job,” Longo said.