Levine: Twins reliever Perkins set to retire

January 23rd, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- Three-time All-Star has decided to hang up his spikes, as general manager Thad Levine, while on Twins Caravan, told Minnesota radio station 1390 Granite City Sports that the left-hander will retire.
Perkins, 34, spent his entire 12-year career pitching in the Twin Cities, and was an All-Star closer from 2013-15. He spent his first full Major League season in 2008 as a starter, going 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA in 26 starts. He soon transitioned to the bullpen for the remainder of his career starting in 2011, going 35-25 with a 3.88 ERA and 120 saves over 409 appearances. At his peak from 2011-15, Perkins posted a 2.84 ERA with 340 strikeouts in 313 1/3 innings.

Minnesota opted to not pick up Perkins' 2018 option worth $6.5 million, instead paying Perkins a $700,000 buyout that made him a free agent. He sustained a career-altering shoulder injury in '16 that saw him undergo surgery for a torn labrum. Perkins returned last August after a 16-month absence, posting a 9.53 ERA in eight outings down the stretch.
Perkins made his final appearance on Sept. 30, 2017, entering the Twins' game against the Tigers to his 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 a cool moment," said an emotional Perkins after the game. "And if that's it, I'll remember it for the rest of my life."
Perkins ranks high on several of the Twins' all-time lists, including saves (third), games finished (fifth) and total appearances (ninth). The Stillwater, Minn., native was selected by the club in the first round of the 2004 Draft out of the University of Minnesota.
Perkins, known as an analytically-minded player who actively embraced advanced statistics, has maintained he'd like to work in the Twins' front office after retirement. The club has hired several of his former teammates as special advisors such as Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and . Levine said on the radio show that Perkins would be welcome back to the organization if he's interested.