Tonkin's rights were sold to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball by the Twins on Tuesday, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports. Tonkin is expected to serve as the closer for the team moving forward, and will receive a guaranteed deal of $2.1 million over the next two years. The right-hander only appeared in 16 games after pitching in 65 for the Twins in 2016, and didn't do much to warrant any real fantasy consideration, as he accumulated a 5.14 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 21 innings out of the club's bullpen.
Tonkin had his contract selected by the Twins on Tuesday. Tonkin will rejoin the big club after being designated for assignment by the Twins back in May. He posted an impressive 1.73 ERA and 61:13 K:BB through 41.2 innings with Triple-A Rochester, but his 6.55 ERA across 11 big-league innings this season will likely limit his opportunities to lower-leveraging situations. J.T. Chargois (elbow) was shifted to the 60-day disabled list to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for Tonkin.
Tonkin cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. As expected, Tonkin will remain in the Twins organization as a farmhand. Given his 6.52 ERA in the majors this season, he'll likely just act as an organizational depth piece from now on.
Tonkin was designated for assignment Saturday, the Star Tribune's Phil Miller reports. The news hit Tonkin hard, as he has spent his entire pro career with the Twins, but it should not come as a surprise considering he has a 6.52 ERA and 1.97 WHIP in 9.2 innings this season. He will likely pass through waivers and report to Triple-A Rochester.
Tonkin has given up six runs, three of them earned, over seven innings to kick off the 2017 season. Tonkin has not pitched in any significant situation yet this season, entering in the middle innings or in mop-up duty. He's struck out nine and walked five while allowing seven hits. In 2016, the 27-year-old surrendered 80 hits over 71.2 innings on his way to a 5.02 ERA.
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