The Minnesota Twins made a free agent pitcher signing, adding Mike Morin on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite.
The Minnesota Twins signed a free agent pitcher! Ok, so it isn’t the type of signing we have been longing for the Twins to make as we wait for them to bolster either the starting rotation or bullpen. It also isn’t a signing we should simply overlook and dismiss either.
The Twins are reportedly signing a minor league deal with right-handed pitcher Mike Morin as Brandon Warne was first to report Tuesday night. Morin is a native of Andover, MN and will now have a chance to play for his hometown team as his deal includes a spring training invite.
Morin played his college ball at UNC-Chapel Hill and was drafted in the 13th round of the 2012 draft by the Los Angeles Angels. He has pitched in the majors over 5 seasons for the Angels, Kansas City Royals, and most recently the Seattle Mariners.
On the surface, it may look like a bit of a waste or a simple Triple-A filler signing to bring the 27-year-old Morin into the Twins organization. He only saw 4.0 innings of relief with the Mariners last season and held a 6.75 ERA and owns a 4.66 career ERA in 174 innings pitched.
As we dig deeper there are some encouraging secondary numbers that make Morin more than worthy of a contract like this. The sample size is small certainly from an MLB perspective but there is still enough there to draw some conclusions about Morin. Not to mention there really isn’t anything for the Twins to lose from signing Morin to this contract.
Morin does seem to have pretty good control and limits walks. Between Triple-A and the majors the past two seasons he has been in the 5% range for walk rate. He counters that with a decent ability to strike batters out it appears as well. Although he certainly hasn’t been consistent it looks like he may have the ability to maintain a low-20% strikeout rate.
Along with those numbers, Morin has maintained a swinging strike rate above 12% for the past three seasons and looks to have the ability to settle into a K/9 of right at or right above 9.0.
Morin certainly could be one tweak or level of development away from becoming a good MLB bullpen arm. Making this a good signing to help reinforce the Triple-A bullpen and also build a pool of reinforcements for mid-season call-ups.
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Certainly, we all hope this isn’t “the” bullpen addition the Twins will make this offseason. It is one of those sneaky additions that may just end up paying off in big ways when we didn’t necessarily expect it to. Similarly to Oliver Drake last season.