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Twins pick up 2007 option on right-hander Silva

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Carlos Silva's $4.325 million
option was exercised Tuesday by the Minnesota Twins, who are
hopeful his 2006 season was an aberration.

The 27-year-old was 11-15 with an abysmal 5.94 ERA, posting 32
walks and 70 strikeouts in 180 1-3 innings and 36 games this year.
He was fourth on the club in wins and second in starts and innings.

If the Twins had declined the option, he would have received a
$100,000 buyout and become eligible for salary arbitration. Silva
has a 42-32 career record in 92 starts, and general manager Terry
Ryan said the team believes he's the pitcher who helped stabilize
the rotation in 2004 and 2005 -- not the one who struggled through
this year while failing to find his trusty sinker.

After pitching through a torn meniscus in his knee the season
before, Silva curiously removed himself from three different starts
this year for various reasons -- raising questions about his
toughness. But Ryan said the Twins were satisfied with his mindset.

"He understands his responsibilty is to be on the mound until
he can't go any longer," Ryan said.

The team considered buying him out and trying to bring him back
at a lower salary, but the savings would have been minimal. With
Brad Radke set to retire and a handful of young, promising pitchers
yet to prove themselves over an entire year, the Twins desperately
need a veteran to shore up the rotation.

"That's where everything's going to start and end," Ryan said.