MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins Minor League pitcher Paul Bargas passed away Tuesday night after battling a rare form of brain cancer. He was 23.
Bargas, who was acquired by the Twins in a trade with the Rockies before the 2011 season, began experiencing headaches that offseason, but reported to Fort Myers, Fla., for Spring Training in March. But he complained of severe headaches and disorientation upon his arrival and was eventually diagnosed with primary central nervous system lymphoma.
He battled the disease for more than a year, as he went through chemotherapy at UCLA Medical Center in California.
"He's battled this thing off and on," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He's had some setbacks. I got a message from our scout John Leavitt on Monday that he had taken a turn for the worse. And I got the news [Tuesday] night he had passed away.
"But when we were in Anaheim on the last trip [in early May], John Leavitt, who did a great job keeping in touch with Paul and his family, and I went to UCLA Medical Center to see Paul. He hadn't eaten in a few days, but when we saw him, he was in really good spirits. We were there for two hours. Every time we got up, he kept saying, 'I'm all right, I'm all right.'"
Antony added that even though Bargas never threw a pitch for the Twins' organization, he was still a part of the Twins family.
"The thing he talked about the most was, 'I can't believe you guys traded for me and I never played a game for you guys, but you treat me like family,'" Antony said. "And I said, "You are the minute we draft you or trade for you.' He was an unbelievable person. I'm serious. There was a never a 'Why me?' in him."
A native of Perris, Calif., Bargas is survived by his wife, Victoria. The Twins will announce funeral arrangements once they become available.