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Twins' Hefner reportedly headed to Mets as pitching coach

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Minnesota Twins assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner (45) poses for a photo on photo day at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports2 / 2

MINNEAPOLIS -- A day after announcing they had filled their open hitting coach position, the Twins now have a new vacant coaching role to fill.

Assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who previously served as an advanced scout for the Twins, has reportedly been hired by the Mets to serve as their pitching coach. Hefner pitched for the Mets from 2012-13.

Hefner, 33, was viewed highly by both the Twins and outside the organization, and the idea of the Twins losing him to another team does not come as a shock. The Twins were hopeful they would be able to keep their coaching staff intact, but have now lost Hefner and hitting coach James Rowson to other clubs.

The Twins might also need to fill their bench coach position if current bench coach Derek Shelton is hired by the Pirates for their open managerial position. Shelton is a finalist for the job, which the Pirates are expected to fill in the coming days.

Twins sign three minor league deals

The Twins have signed pitchers Blaine Hardy and Ryan Garton, and catcher Juan Graterol to minor league contracts. The Twins' Triple-A affiliate announced the signings on Tuesday.

Hardy, 32, has a career 3.73 ERA in a six-year major league career. Last season, he posted a 4.47 ERA in 44⅓ relief innings for the Detroit Tigers before being sidelined by elbow issues and missing the final two months of the season.

The lefty, who was arbitration-eligible this season, was outrighted last month by the Tigers. He gives the Twins' a potential depth option with experience a bullpen that carried just one lefty —Taylor Rogers — for much of last season.

Garton, 29, has pitched in parts of three seasons in the majors, spanning 64⅓ innings pitched. He has a career 4.90 ERA. He spent most of 2019 in Triple-A, pitching just three innings with the Mariners. Garton went 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA in 65⅓ innings pitched for the Tacoma Rainiers last season.

Graterol, 30, a former Twin has played in parts of four seasons in the majors. The catcher appeared in three games for the Twins in 2018. Last year, he was primarily in Triple-A, where he slashed .249/.301/.325 in 58 games with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate.