Twins Sign Two Pitchers To Minor League Deals


The Minnesota Twins have signed veteran pitchers Aaron Sanchez and Tyler Thornburg to minor league contracts.

Sanchez, who is a former All-Star starting pitcher, started the season with the Washington Nationals on a minor league contract. The right-hander heavily struggled in his seven starts with the Nationals, posting a dreadful 8.33 ERA, although he was still able to manage a respectable 3-3 record despite the egregiously high amount of runs allowed.

Sanchez would go on to opt for free agency after the Nationals designated him for assignment and then outrighted him, which led to him signing with Minnesota. 

The former first round pick has struggled in the major leagues after his peak season with the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2016. In only his third season, Sanchez dominated the league with a 15-2 record, an All-Star selection, the AL ERA Title, and was an AL Cy Young candidate.

Still only 29-years-old, Sanchez has a chance to prove himself with the Twins. Will a fresh start with a new team lead to a resurgent season from the veteran starter? That is a prospect that Minnesota certainly hopes will occur this season.

Thornburg, a veteran relief pitcher, signed a non-roster deal with Twins and has been assigned to Triple-A.

After missing the entire 2021 season because of Tommy John Surgery, the 33-year-old reliever began this season with the Atlanta Braves. In 9 games pitched, Thornburg has a 3.86 ERA, 10 total strikeouts, and has not been credited with any wins or losses.

The Braves would designate Thornburg for assignment, and then ultimately made the decision to release the right-hander near the end of May.

Similar to Sanchez, Thornburg peaked early on in his career. In his first few seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, Thornburg proved to be a consistently dependable relief pitcher. Unfortunately, as his career has progressed along, injuries and a general decline in his performance has led to the reliever bouncing around the league. 

Thornburg now has a chance to try and crack the Twins bullpen with this new opportunity. He made his debut with the St. Paul Saints yesterday, which is the Twins' Triple-A affiliate club. He allowed two runs (zero earned runs) and had two strikeouts in one inning of play.      

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