Twins sign Paulsen to Minors deal with invitation to Spring Training

Twins sign Paulsen to Minors deal with invitation to Spring Training

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Twins made their first move of the Winter Meetings on Monday, signing first baseman/outfielder Ben Paulsen to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Paulsen, 29, spent parts of the past three seasons with the Rockies, hitting .271/.316/.446 with 16 homers and 70 RBIs in 186 games. He's coming off a down year, however, as he hit .217/.258/.304 with a homer and 11 RBIs in 39 games with Colorado this past season. But Paulsen did hit .278/.331/.434 at Triple-A Albuquerque.

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It's a low-risk move for the Twins, and they've had success with other Minor League free agents in recent years, such as Fernando Abad, Brandon Kintzler, Casey Fien and Chris Colabello.

Given the amount of options at first base for the Twins with Joe Mauer, Byungho Park and Kennys Vargas on the roster, Paulsen is more likely to be a backup outfielder than first baseman.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.