Twins ink Belisle to 1-year contract

Righty reliever has 13 seasons of experience

February 2nd, 2017
Matt Belisle posted a 1.76 ERA, whiffed 32 and walked seven in 46 innings for the Nats in 2016. (Getty)Joe Robbins/Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added a veteran reliever to their bullpen Thursday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with right-hander Matt Belisle.

The Twins announced the signing on Friday and said the contract is for one year at $2.050 million. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins designated first baseman/designated hitter Byungho Park for release or assignment.

Minnesota general manager Thad Levine said at TwinsFest that he expected to add at least one veteran pitcher before pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14, and Belisle fits that bill. The 36-year-old has 13 years of experience and posted a 1.76 ERA in 40 appearances with the Nationals last year. He also struck out 32, walked seven and gave up two homers in 46 innings to post a solid 2.84 FIP.

The Twins have a young bullpen behind veterans and , as they figure to lean heavily on relievers such as and . Belisle figures to shoulder some of that load and could be used late in games.

Belisle owns a career 4.20 ERA with 632 strikeouts and 205 walks in 834 innings with the Reds, Rockies, Cardinals and Nationals. He's been solid over the past two seasons with St. Louis and Washington, combining to post a 2.15 ERA in 79 2/3 innings.

Belisle is mostly a three-pitch reliever, using his slider roughly three times as much as his curveball, and rarely mixing in a changeup. His average fastball velocity last year was 90.9 mph.