The Minnesota Twins have declined their $9.25 million option on right-hander Scott Baker’s contract for next season, making him eligible for free agency.
The team announced the decision on Monday. Baker didn’t pitch this year because of an elbow injury that required elbow-ligament replacement surgery. The Twins have expressed interest in bringing him back for 2013, but not at that price.
The 31-year-old Baker was a second-round draft pick by the Twins in 2003. He is 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA since his debut in 2005, spanning 163 appearances and 159 starts.
The Twins also agreed to terms with right-hander P.J. Walters on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Walters went 2-5 with a 5.69 ERA in 12 starts last season.