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Twins bring back Guerrier on Minors deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- Matt Guerrier is the latest former Twin to rejoin the club on a Minor League deal this offseason, joining Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett.

Guerrier, who pitched with the Twins from 2004 to 2010, officially signed a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training on Wednesday, the club announced. Guerrier said that his familiarity with the organization and pitching coach Rick Anderson played a big role in his decision.

"It makes it super easy," Guerrier said. "I had a couple other options, but the main thing was I could go somewhere where these guys have seen me throw and know my mechanics when I'm throwing the ball well. Worst-case scenario, they can help me get better if my mechanics are off and I need to work on some things. I've worked a lot with Rick Anderson."

Guerrier is also being reunited with Kubel, his teammate for six seasons (2004 and 2006-10) and Bartlett (2004-2007). Kubel signed a Minor League deal in December, Bartlett in November.

"I think it's a good scenario, with a possibility for a high reward with low risk, because if things work out and some of us come back and play like we feel we're capable of, it would be great," Guerrier said. "And if it doesn't work out for the Twins, it makes for an easier situation for them. But it makes us feel comfortable and makes us feel like we can succeed in a place like this. I think it's exciting for everybody."

Guerrier, 35, posted a 4.01 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings with the Dodgers and Cubs in 2013. He saw his season cut short by injury, and he underwent surgery in mid-August to repair the flexor mass in his right elbow.

Guerrier spent the offseason rehabbing his elbow at Dr. James Andrews' clinic in Birmingham, Ala., and should be ready for the start of Spring Training. He's already thrown off a mound four times this offseason and is set to throw his first full bullpen session on Monday.

Guerrier is excited to see how his arm responds, as he was bothered by the injury for two years before he finally tore the flexor muscle off the bone in early August. The rehab time for the surgery is six months, meaning he will be ready to go in mid-February, when pitchers and catchers are set to report to Fort Myers, Fla., for Spring Training.

"I feel great," he said. "I'm on schedule. I actually started throwing a month earlier than I usually do. I feel good."

Guerrier spent three seasons with the Dodgers, posting a 4.24 ERA in 110 1/3 innings, signing a three-year, $12 million deal as a free agent after leaving the Twins following the 2010 season.

He spent seven seasons with the Twins, posting a 3.38 ERA with 310 strikeouts in 472 innings. He has a career 3.51 ERA over 528 appearances, including three starts, with the Twins, Dodgers and Cubs.

Minnesota's bullpen was a strong point last year, and right-hander Josh Roenicke was the lone reliever to depart. But Guerrier said his goal remains to be on the Opening Day roster.

"I'm pretty confident in myself that if I come back healthy and feeling good, I have as good a chance as anybody," he said. "If there's an opportunity, I'd love it. I came here because I want to play in Minnesota. If it works out, that's great, because that's what I want to happen."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.

Minnesota Twins, Matt Guerrier