By Joe Christensen
FORT MYERS, FLA. — The Twins announced today that they have signed pitcher Scott Baker to a four-year, $15.25 million contract with an option for 2013.
The team’s release said the option year is worth $9.25 million.
Baker, 27, went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA last year and has been named the Twins Opening Day starter this year.
For his career, Baker is 28-24 with a 4.23 ERA.
Baker would have been eligible for arbitration after this season and eligible for free agency after 2012. So this deal buys out his arbitration years and gives them an option for his first year of free agency.
“It was kind of a no-brainer,” Baker said. “This is a place I enjoy being. My family loves Minneapolis. If you can’t play for [Ron Gardenhire] then something’s wrong with you, and I work well with [pitching coach Rick Anderson], so I like what’s going on here, and this is where I wanted to be.
“It gives us some security, and it gives them some certainty of payroll, and I think overall everybody’s happy.”
Update (3:45 p.m.): Baker will make $750,000 this year, then $3 million, $5 million and $6.5 million in 2012. There is no buyout for the option year.