MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins avoided arbitration with reliever Kevin Jepsen on Friday, as they signed him to a one-year deal worth $5,312,500.
Jepsen filed at $5.4 million and the Twins filed at $5.05 million on Jan. 15, so Jepsen receives a higher amount than the midpoint. The 31-year-old right-hander excelled for the Twins after being traded from the Rays on July 31, posting a 1.61 ERA with 10 saves in 29 appearances.
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe is the only remaining arbitration-eligible Twins player yet to sign. Plouffe filed at $7.95 million while the Twins countered with $7 million. The club already agreed to terms with Eduardo Escobar, Eduardo Nunez, Tommy Milone and Casey Fien.
Additionally, the Twins claimed left-handed reliever Mike Strong off waivers from the Marlins. Strong is an Afton, Minn., native and went to Stillwater Area High School, which is the same high school Twins All-Star closer Glen Perkins attended.
Strong, 27, has yet to make the Majors and spent his entire career in the Brewers' organization before being claimed on waivers by the Marlins on Dec. 7. Strong posted a combined 3.68 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 31 walks in 66 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A last year. He has a career 3.61 ERA with 358 strikeouts and 156 walks in 337 innings, but he struggled in his first taste of Triple-A last year, posting a 7.16 ERA in 16 1/3 innings.
To make room for Strong on the roster, the Twins designated left-hander Logan Darnell for assignment. Darnell had a 2.78 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 25 walks in 77 2/3 innings for Triple-A Rochester last year. He pitched well down the stretch as a starter in Triple-A and earned a September callup, but he didn't appear in a game because he was shut down for the season with pneumonia.
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.