Milone among four Twins to avoid arbitration

Fien, Escobar and Nunez agree to 1-year deals; Plouffe, Jepsen remain unsigned

Milone among four Twins to avoid arbitration

MINNEAPOLIS -- After left-hander Tommy Milone agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million to avoid arbitration on Thursday, the Twins avoided arbitration with reliever Casey Fien and infielders Eduardo Escobar and Eduardo Nunez on Friday. Fien will earn $2.275 million, Nunez will earn $1.475 million and Escobar will earn $2.15 million, the club announced.

The Twins, however, have yet to reach agreements with third baseman Trevor Plouffe and reliever Kevin Jepsen. Friday was the deadline to exchange figures for arbitration, but the Twins don't employ a file and trial policy, so they can still work out deals with Plouffe and Jepsen before going to a hearing. The club has avoided going to hearings in recent years, as the last time was in 2009 with Kyle Lohse.

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The Twins exchanged salary figures with Plouffe and Jepsen on Friday. Plouffe filed at $7.95 million while the Twins countered with $7 million. Jepsen filed at $5.4 million and the Twins filed at $5.05 million.

Last year, the Twins signed four of their six arbitration-eligible players on the day salary figures were exchanged, but signed Brian Duensing and Jordan Schafer to one-year deals the next week.

Milone, who turns 29 next month, went 9-5 with a 3.92 ERA over 24 games (23 starts) for the Twins last season while making $2.775 million and was the first to avoid arbitration with his $4.5 million deal. Minnesota acquired him from Oakland at the 2014 Trade Deadline for outfielder Sam Fuld.

Fien, 32, posted a 3.55 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings last year while making $1.375 million.

Escobar, 27, hit .262/.309/.445 with 12 homers, 31 doubles and 48 runs scored in 127 games while earning $532,000 last year.

Nunez batted .282/.327/.431 with four homers, 14 doubles and eight stolen bases in 72 games in a utility role last season. The 28-year-old made $1.025 million last season.

Plouffe, 29, hit .244/.307/.435 with 22 homers, 35 doubles and 86 RBIs in 152 games. The third baseman made $4.8 million in 2015.

Jepsen provided a big boost for the Twins after being acquired from the Rays before the Trade Deadline. The right-hander had a 1.61 ERA with 10 saves with Minnesota to finish the year with a 2.81 ERA and 15 saves. The 31-year-old made $3.025 million last year and is eligible for arbitration for a final time before becoming a free agent after the 2016 season.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.