Settled with Twins, Perkins has 'zero desire' to leave

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) The contract Glen Perkins has with the Minnesota Twins goes through at least 2017, so the All-Star closer wouldn't have to think about switching teams for a while.

He already has. He would never do it.

''I won't go anywhere else. Not at this point. I've been home my whole life, and I would rather try to win here and never win than go somewhere else just to win one,'' Perkins said. ''That doesn't appeal to me. So I want to play here and be at home. I have zero desire to play elsewhere.''

That's good, because the Twins are happy to have him.

''It's always nice to have a guy at the back of the bullpen to say, `This is our guy,''' general manager Terry Ryan said. ''Being from the state he has his roots up there and all the good stuff that comes with the local flavor. But he's got the arm strength. He's got the mentality. He's calm. Even if things aren't going so well he bounces back. He's got a short memory. He's been for the most part durable.''

His presence will be especially welcome for a first-time manager in Paul Molitor and a new pitching coach in Neil Allen.

''The managers and the coaches, they get a little nervous when they don't have a guy out there on the back of that bullpen you can count on and has got some sort of track record,'' Ryan said. ''We've been fortunate here to have pretty good longevity here and some continuity there. Glen's just taken the torch.''

Indeed, from Jeff Reardon to Rick Aguilera to Eddie Guardado to Joe Nathan to now, the Twins have enjoyed a long run of stability in the closer role, with the exception of a season here or a season there. Perkins signed a new contract last spring training, guaranteeing him more than $22 million until 2018. He'll make $4.65 million this year, $6.3 million next year and $6.5 million the year after that. The Twins can keep him for 2018 at $6.5 million or buy out his deal for $700,000.

After pitching for Stillwater High School, about a half-hour drive east of Target Field, and then at the University of Minnesota, Perkins has stayed on the local track since the Twins drafted him in the first round in 2004. His contract could easily be considered below market value for a ninth-inning specialist of his experience and accomplishment, but he approached the team last year about extending his deal so he could further secure his future in the only place he ever wants to pitch.

''Time just goes on,'' the left-hander said this week. ''The last four years, even though we weren't any good, they've flown by.''

During the 2010 season, while he was with Triple-A Rochester during a mid-career stall, Perkins became engrossed with the advanced statistics that have guided the evaluations of more and more teams around the majors. He has used analytics as a scouting tool to help his own performance and done his best to enlighten his fellow bullpen members over the last few years even if they've been hesitant to dive that kind of analysis.

''I didn't realize he was into it as much as he was. I'll make a random comment, `Did you hear so-and-so said this?' and he'll go on for it about 15 minutes. He knows everything about it,'' left-hander Brian Duensing said. ''But he's one of those guys who will make his point but can see both sides of it.''

Perkins, though, has been able to avoid being over-consumed by the information.

''Glen is really good at keeping everything simple. He's one of those guys who taught me to just trust in yourself. Because he knows exactly what he's going to do and the type of game plan he's going to have,'' Duensing said. ''When you start pitching like that I think you pitch with more confidence as well.''

There's no end to knowledge, and for Perkins that craving for information has stretched into smoking meats or brewing beer at home as well. As a pitcher, he has even changed his approach at times to achieve the results he's been seeking.

''You have to have the ability to do it, but still it gives you a goal of what you're trying to do. So I think it can be useful for guys in the long run,'' he said.

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Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

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