After spending the last three seasons in the in the basement of the American League Central, the Twins invested financially in a pair of starting pitchers the team hopes can bridge the gap until their stable of youngsters are ready for the big stage. Newest pitcher Ricky Nolasco was introduced to the media Tuesday at Target Field.
"This is a good day for the Minnesota Twins," General Manager Terry Ryan said. "As everybody knows, we've had some problems on the mound especially in the starting rotation and we set out this fall to improve our ability to compete. When Ricky filed for free agency about November 2nd or so, he was one of the guys that we pin pointed that we wanted to bring over here."
Nolasco, signed a deal worth $49 million over four years making him the richest free agent pitcher in franchise history. Nolasco has pitched at least 190 innings in three consecutive years which is something Twins pitchers have failed to accomplish in years.
"I just want to be a part of turning this organization around," Nolasco said. "I'm thankful for this opportunity the Twins have given me."
Based on the current state of the pitching staff, Nolasco projects as a top of the rotation arm along with Hughes but it wasn't the main factor when deciding to land in Minnesota.
"Whether it's one through five, whatever number you are in the rotation you just go out there and the biggest thing is taking the ball every fifth day," Nolasco said. "In the big leagues I think a lot of guys give you an opportunity to win as long as you are out there. Not putting any pressure on where I am in the staff, just taking the same mindset I have my whole career."
Three straight seasons of more than 90 losses has the Twins in a constant state of improvement which Ryan admitted to FOX 9 Sports that the franchise isn't done after the signing of the two pitchers.
"There are a lot of players who are still out there and available," Ryan said. "Yesterday I think there were 43 non-tenders, so that's another added free agency avenue for us. We're looking at a lot of things here."
The Twins are expected to introduce pitcher Phil Hughes on Friday.