Pitcher Pablo López, Minnesota Twins finalize 4-year, $73.5 million deal

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Right-hander Pablo López and the Minnesota Twins finalized a contract that guarantees $73.5 million over four seasons from 2024-27.

López is earning $5.45 million this season in a one-year deal agreed to in January. His new agreement calls for a $1 million signing bonus, half payable within 60 days of the contract’s approval by the commissioner’s office and half payable Jan. 15. He gets an $8 million salary in 2024 and $21.5 million in each of the following three seasons.

He would earn a $500,000 bonus for winning a Cy Young Award, $250,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third and $100,000 for fourth through sixth. López would get $25,000 for All-Star election or selection, $25,000 for a Gold Glove, $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Acquired from Miami in a January trade that sent American League batting champion and fan favorite Luis Arraez to the Marlins, López us 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA through four starts with 33 strikeouts in 26 innings and only 15 hits allowed.

The new deal for the 27-year-old gives the Twins additional long-term stability around a rotation that has emerged as a strength.

Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda and Tyler Mahle are all in the final year of their contracts, eligible to become free agents in the fall. Their uncertain status for next season only underscored the team’s interest in committing to López, who had a 3.94 ERA over 94 starts with the Marlins.

Joe Ryan is the only other starter under club control beyond 2023. There’s viable depth in Triple-A, including Bailey Ober, who has a 3.81 ERA in 31 major league starts, and Chris Paddack is due back from Tommy John elbow surgery around midseason this year. But the 27-year-old López, a native of Venezuela, has given the Twins an ace-caliber leader to build around. He took the mound for a career-high 32 starts last season.