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Twins settle with remaining 8 arb-eligible players

Club agrees to one-year deals with Odorizzi, Gibson, Rosario, Kepler, Sano, Buxton, Rogers, May
MLB.com @dohyoungpark

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins avoided arbitration with all eight of their remaining arbitration-eligible players at Friday's deadline to exchange potential 2019 salary figures, agreeing to one-year contracts with Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Taylor Rogers and Trevor May.

Odorizzi will earn $9.5 million and Gibson will earn $8.125 million in their final season of arbitration eligibility. Rosario settled at $4.19 million, Kepler at $3.125 million, Sano at $2.65 million, Buxton at $1.75 million, Rogers at $1.525 million and May at $900,000.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins avoided arbitration with all eight of their remaining arbitration-eligible players at Friday's deadline to exchange potential 2019 salary figures, agreeing to one-year contracts with Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Taylor Rogers and Trevor May.

Odorizzi will earn $9.5 million and Gibson will earn $8.125 million in their final season of arbitration eligibility. Rosario settled at $4.19 million, Kepler at $3.125 million, Sano at $2.65 million, Buxton at $1.75 million, Rogers at $1.525 million and May at $900,000.

Prior to Friday, the Twins had already avoided arbitration with Ehire Adrianza, who agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million contract, and newly acquired first baseman C.J. Cron, who signed for one year and $4.8 million.

Though the Twins went to an arbitration hearing with Gibson last season -- Minnesota's first hearing since 2006 -- the sides settled for '19 after the 31-year-old right-hander had a career-best 3.62 ERA and 179 strikeouts while earning $4.2 million last season. Odorizzi, 28, had a 4.49 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 164 1/3 innings in 2018, when he earned $6.3 million after he was acquired from the Rays during the offseason. He won an arbitration hearing against Tampa Bay prior to the 2018 season.

The 29-year-old May posted strong numbers in 2018 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery in March 2017, finishing with a 3.20 ERA and three saves in 24 appearances with career-best strikeout (12.8 K/9) and walk (1.8 BB/9) rates following his return to the team on July 31.

Kepler, Rogers, Rosario, Sano and Buxton were all arbitration-eligible for the first time. Kepler's .224 average and .727 OPS were the lowest full-season marks of his career, but he hit a career-high 20 homers and improved his walk rate while cutting down on strikeouts. He also played stellar defense, as his 10 outs above average, per Statcast™, ranked 14th in MLB. Rogers was scoreless through his final 28 outings of the season, which lowered his season ERA to a career-best 2.63.

Rosario hit 24 homers with a .288/.323/.479 line in 2018 but was sidelined at the end of the season with a right quad injury. It was his second consecutive season with at least 24 homers and an .803 OPS, and his 3.4 WAR (according to FanGraphs) was a career high.

Sano took a step back from his 2017 All-Star campaign, hitting .199/.281/.398 with 13 homers, and spent a stint in Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Buxton also struggled with a .156/.183/.200 line in 28 Major League games during an injury-plagued season. He was openly upset that he was not recalled to the Twins at the end of the season, which put him under team control for an additional year, through the 2022 season.

Worth noting
Right-hander Aaron Slegers was claimed off waivers by the Pirates on Friday. Slegers had been desigated for assignment on Jan. 3 to make room for Nelson Cruz on Minnesota's 40-man roster. The former fifth-round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft had a 5.90 ERA in eight Major League appearances for the Twins over two seasons.

Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.

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