MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins, and general manager Terry Ryan, have always been hesitant to dive too deeply into the free agent pool in search of answers to the team's problems.
Ryan would much prefer to draft and develop players, grooming them as they rise through the farm system and reach the majors at affordable price points. But after watching the worst starting pitching staff in the majors get bludgeoned for two straight years, Ryan realized it was time to spend.
The first major step came on Tuesday, when the Twins introduced right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who finalized a $49 million, four-year contract that is the richest the team has given a free agent. The club also is finishing a $24 million, three-year deal with right-hander Phil Hughes that is expected to be announced later this week, marking a drastic turn from the pragmatic approach to free agency that has been the Twins' calling card.