In an effort to keep their bullpen strong for 2007 and beyond, the Minnesota Twins gave reliever Jesse Crain a three-year contract on Tuesday, keeping him around for a dependable right arm and occasional setup man to closer Automatic Joe Nathan.
The 25-year-old went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA in 68 games last season, helping the Twins come from behind for their fourth AL Central title in five seasons. In his final 22 appearances, Crain was 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA, allowing just 14 hits.
In his two-plus year career, spent solely in Minnesota, Crain is 19-10 with a 2.95 ERA in 165 appearances.
Crain said he was somewhat surprised when the Twins approached him about a new contract. "It was something I was actually hoping for, but I wasn't sure it was going to happen with everybody that had arbitration this year," Crain said. "I'm excited for it and look forward to being with the Twins."