Retiring Perkins grateful for 12 years with Twins

Three-time All-Star reliever may continue with club in front-office role

January 26th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- As a kid who grew up in Minnesota, played baseball at the University of Minnesota, was a first-round Draft pick by his hometown team and went on to be a three-time All-Star in a 12-year career with the Twins, knows how fortunate he was to have the career he had.
Perkins, 34, knew last year was going to be his final season in the Majors after a grueling 16-month rehab process following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. But this offseason, he never could come up with a way to announce his retirement, only for him to get scooped by general manager Thad Levine, who announced it at a Twins Caravan stop on Tuesday. But Perkins, speaking to on Friday, said he's happy with the way everything went.
"This winter, there was never enough time or a scenario to make an announcement," Perkins said. "When I talked to Thad the other day, I actually thanked him for getting the ball rolling. I was in a stalemate with myself, but he got it going and it worked out."
Perkins, an All-Star from 2013-15, finishes his career with a 3.88 ERA, including a 3.09 ERA in 365 appearances as a reliever, with 120 saves. Perkins reached 10 years of service time last season, and the Stillwater, Minn., native said he's proud he only pitched for the Twins.

"The further along and the older I got, the more the chances of me playing for another team became pretty much zero," Perkins said. "I think it's a cool story and exactly what I wanted to do. I know how lucky I was to have one day in the big leagues, and in the end to have a career better than I could've dreamed with the All-Star Games and getting to pitch in an All-Star Game at home."
The Twins declined Perkins' $6.5 million option for '18, paying him a $700,000 buyout, and he earned $27.3 million during his career. His final appearance was a memorable one against the Tigers on Sept. 30, coming out to his former closer walk-up music of Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down." He retired on a popup to first baseman , who gave Perkins the ball following the play.
"That was really cool," Perkins said. "I ended up hearing through the grapevine it was [manager Paul] Molitor's idea. It was a good send-off, and I really appreciated it. It was a neat way to do it, and I was glad I was able to do it one last time."
Perkins said his plan is to spend more time with his family in Minnesota this offseason, skipping Spring Training for the first time since joining the organization as the No. 22 overall pick in the 2004 Draft. But the Twins have discussed a job in the front office with him, and the analytically-minded Perkins said he'll know more by the start of the regular season.
"They're big on asking what I want to do and where I think I have value, and then they'll make that fit and that work," Perkins said. "I feel like I have a lot to learn from them. As far as a job title, there's nothing on that, but it'll be some mentoring in the Minor Leagues and then up here be around trades, free agency and the Draft and scouting guys. I told them I want to get my hands dirty and be involved."