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  • Twins and Pelfrey Agree to Deal

    According to Jon Heyman, The Minnesota Twins have reached an agreement with RHP Mike Pelfrey. He says that it is a two year deal at $11 million. It also includes incentives up to another $3.5 million.

    There have been reports for a month that the two sides were very close, and that the Twins had made an offer. On Saturday night, there was finally an agreement.

    Pelfrey went 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP with the Twins in 2013. He had undergone Tommy John surgery in April of 2012 and returned quickly. He struggled early with the Twins, but he did show good velocity on his fastball.

    Last month, Parker wrote about why the Twins might have interest in bringing back the right-hander.

    The Twins have been busy in the free agent pitching market. Last month, they inked Ricky Nolasco to a four year, $49 million contract with an option for a fifth year. Days later, they agreed with Phil Hughes on a three year, $24 million deal.

    The Twins have Kevin Correia under contract for 2014 at $5.5 million. If the Twins do not sign any other starting pitchers or make any trades, Sam Deduno, Kyle Gibson, Andrew Albers, Kris Johnson, Scott Diamond, Vance Worley and Alex Meyer will be competing for the fifth starter job. (Deduno, Diamond and Worley will be out of options)

    There is no word yet on whether the Twins would still consider adding another starting pitcher as rumors surrounding Bronson Arroyo and Matt Garza have not subsided.
    Comments 127 Comments
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      You can never have too much pitching. With the minor league starters the Twins were running out there last year, this is not a bad move. Most of the starters for the Twins last year should not have been wearing major league uniforms. This also gives some depth incase of injuries.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Adding mediocre players for the short term to a bad team simply adds to the cycle of mediocrity. The Twins need to develop mid rotation starters that have service time and will be with the teams as the prospects arrive.

      Best case - Pelfrey pitches well enjoys some BABIP luck and is flipped at the deadline.

      Less damaging case - He is really bad and released like Marquis or significantly injured and all the Twins lose is a little money.

      Worst case - He performs as a 4th starter in the rotation for two years and the Twins lose the opportunity to invest innings towards developing a mid rotation starter.
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -


      Absolutely hate it.
    1. twinsfaninsaudi's Avatar
      twinsfaninsaudi -
      Boo-yah! Boo-yah! BOO-YAH! Here we come baby. Here we come!
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Adding mediocre players for the short term to a bad simply add to the cycle of mediocrity. The Twins need to develop mid rotation starters that have service time and will be with the teams as the prospects arrive.

      Best case - Pelfrey pitches well enjoys some BABIP luck and is flipped at the deadline.

      Less damaging case - He is really bad and released like Marquis or significantly injured and all the Twins lose is a little money.

      Worst case - He performs as a 4th starter in the rotation for two years and the Twins lose the opportunity to invest innings towards developing a mid rotation starter.
      Very well stated. I just don't understand the direction they are going. It's like they're stuck in the middle.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      We could of had the 4 highest WAR amongst free agents for 2/16, in a place of need, rather then sign another4/5 type pitcher , we have uggles of them already
    1. Trautmann13's Avatar
      Trautmann13 -
      would have had Arroyo 100 times over rather than Pelfrey. Especially after they all but had him locked. Reports had Reds only offering Arroyo 1 year deal when he wanted 3. twins were standing with 2. He was going to come here!! But no, lets sign a has been who never was. He was never good in NY before TJ, how in the hell is he supposed to suddenly be worth a 2 year deal? Arroyo is a far better pitcher than at 37 than Pelfrey will ever be. Very disapointed with this deal, hope it somehow works out
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by S. View Post
      Career numbers

      Nolasco: 4.37 ERA / 3.76 FIP / 3.75 xFIP
      Hughes: 4.54 ERA / 4.31 FIP / 4.31 xFIP
      Pelfrey: 4.48 ERA / 4.17 FIP / 4.50 xFIP
      Correia: 4.49 ERA / 4.50 FIP / 4.41 xFIP
      Deduno: 4.06 ERA / 4.67 FIP / 4.32 xFIP
      I'll repeat my very weak endorsement of the Pelfrey signing: I predict Pelfrey will have better overall numbers next year than one of the three veteran free agents signed in the last two off-seasons. He also throws a mid-90s fastball and is younger than both Nolasco and Correia. The cost isn't that high and two years isn't forever.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      I guess this means the Twins will not be signing Garza.
    1. Legend of the Arctic's Avatar
      Legend of the Arctic -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trautmann13 View Post
      would have had Arroyo 100 times over rather than Pelfrey. Especially after they all but had him locked. Reports had Reds only offering Arroyo 1 year deal when he wanted 3. twins were standing with 2. He was going to come here!! But no, lets sign a has been who never was. He was never good in NY before TJ, how in the hell is he supposed to suddenly be worth a 2 year deal? Arroyo is a far better pitcher than at 37 than Pelfrey will ever be. Very disapointed with this deal, hope it somehow works out
      "Has been who never was" would be a good description for Arroyo, who is 37 and has never been anything more than a run of the mill pitch to contact guy. Meanwhile, Pelfrey is just 30, and he's coming off a 2.1 WAR season a year after major surgery. I'd rather have Matt Garza, but Pelfrey is an acceptable pitcher.
    1. jcphitman's Avatar
      jcphitman -
      For the record before I type anything else, I don't like the signing. Like anyone, I'd of rather had Garza. I'd even of rather had Arroyo. However, what's done is done and we have to move on with Pelfrey in the plans. We have to live with what they do. They chose to bring him back. We have to go with it.

      So while dealing with it, let's look at some key points:

      1. Pelfrey is NOT THE SIGNING this year. That title belongs to Nolsaco and even Hughes is better. Pelfrey is a far third when it comes to who we've already signed. Last year, I think Pelfrey was either THE SIGNING or 1a to Correia's 1. All they had to show us last year was Correia and Pelfrey. This year, they have a durable and proven Nolsaco, a young Hughes still in his 20's for the entire duration of his deal with hope of immediate improvement, and now Pelfrey. We also have an exceeded above expectations Correia in the second year of a very favorable deal. We then have a collection of options for the last spot with making them compete and truly the best man winning. Remember this team already did two better SP signings and broke their own external FA signing record on both of them, the Pelfrey signing is easier to swallow.

      2. We should have no reason not to believe the second season of post TJ surgery won't be good to Pelfrey. As many people say, when you get to the second and third season of post TJ, you have a bionic arm. Pelfrey will not light anyone up with a better arm, but he will improve and hopefully touch 93. If he can turn into the Pelfrey of 2010 for us, it's a good deal.

      3. The deal doesn't set the world on fire. It's essentially Correia part 2 (just with incentives). If Pelfrey can pitch like Correia did last year, we'll go into year 1 ahead of the deal.

      4. We all know the Twins and Boras don't do business very well. From way back when Boras stole Travis Lee from us to get him to the D-Backs during their expansion season. Terry Ryan and Boras aren't the best chums out there. Boras has most likely been quite hesitant to work with us and our stingy reputation. Outside of Joe Crede, I can't recall a Boras client that was in the market that chose to work with us outside of Pelfrey. Coming to a compromise with Boras and signing one of his clients for multiple years could very well send a message to the super agent we're really open for business. Remember, he DOES represent Stephen Drew, who is STILL out there. I'm not saying signing Pelf will lead to Drew, but it might influence Boras to look at us more and even come to a fair deal for Drew. I'm also not saying Drew will light up the world at SS, but he's much more proven than Florimon. TR says we want offense. Getting Drew helps us with that offensive need and makes the SS position more attractive.

      5. Pelf wanted to return here. Name a lot of FA's who truly want to come here after the losing we've been through. Nolasco? He came here because we offered what he wanted. Hughes? I doubt we were his first choice. I think he came here because teams like the Giants and Padres were set plus we were willing to give more years. Pelfrey? He pitched here through a terrible team last year (and he was bad), but he wanted to return. He should be better in 2014 than he was in 2013. He wanted to be here. Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and bring in people who want to be here or return here. It shows other players we're a chosen destination. I guarantee other players are looking at Pelf returning and saying maybe there is something about Minnesota. It at least helps us in the future he wanted to return and we brought him back.

      6. As I said in point 1, it makes the fifth spot quite competitive for those who are left. It sends a message to Worley, Albers, Deduno, Diamond, and even Gibson we aren't going to tolerate tossing out. It could be argued some of them are better than Pelfrey, but not at this stage of their careers. Gibson SHOULD be better than Pelfrey as he now enters season two post TJ, but he needs to earn it and prove it. Pelfrey came back quicker and did more than Gibson. Pelfrey has the experience Gibson does not have. I hope Gibson grabs the bull by the horns and claims a spot permanently in the rotation. A spot is then opened for Meyer in 2015 when Correia comes off the books. We then have two cost controlled pitchers for a good while mixing in with vets.

      7. If worse comes to worse, it's a short term deal that we can hopefully deal Pelfrey to a pitching desperate team if need be. It'll be easier to move him than Nolsaco and maybe even Hughes.

      8. We could have been on the outside looking in when this was all set. The Reds are saying they'll offer Arroyo one year, but that may end up being enough. Arroyo likes the Reds over everyone else and could be using the Twins as leverage. If he goes, then what? Garza? The Angels will trump any offer we throw at him. They proved they'll spend like crazy for Hamilton and Pujols. Why not go pitching now? Tanaka? If he even gets posted and we all know the Yankees will go the 20 million and then more (unless they can't if teams worse than them can bid just as much and be guaranteed negotiating over them ... I'm unclear of the new system). If all of our options ran dry (which I see happen more than normal being a Minnesota sports fan), what then? We could have gone with what we had, but Pelfrey does offer more experience and a more proven alternative than Worley, Diamond, Gibson, Deduno pairing. Sometimes you just toss an offer out there and see who goes first. The Twins are loyal anyway. They were going to bring Pelf back before anyone else they were chasing.

      9. Again, at least the Twins were aggressive. Name another off season when they went into the FA market and brought in three experienced names. Were they what we would have picked? Maybe and maybe not. However, they did something and we've been begging them to do something for years. They finally gave in and did something. Beggars can't be choosers.

      I still don't like the signing as I stated before all of these points. However, it's not the worst thing in the world. We could have Maholm, Penny, or some other even worse pitcher at this point. I guess glass half full is better than glass half empty. Hopefully Pelf proves us wrong like Correia did last year with not as much pressure due to Nolasco and Hughes being here as higher level acquisitions.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I hear the name "Deduno" a lot. Methinks that it will be a (Fort Myers) Miracle if Deduno does not start the season in the DL. Latest reports having him long tossing from 180 feet. For comparison's sake, Johan Santana is ahead of him and he will lose a chunk of 2014. ST starts in about 2 months, I just don't see Deduno ready.

      Another interesting thing is that there are reports out there that they are still after more pitching. I will not be surprised if the Twins flip Correia too before the season started to make the numbers work...
    1. jcphitman's Avatar
      jcphitman -
      One more point signing Pelf early when Garza and Arroyo are still out there. We were going after AJ and Salty. Both went elsewhere. Now we're left chasing Suzuki and Buck. AJ and Salty are much better options IMO to pair with Pinto. TR most likely saw the C situation and decided his last SP signing was going to be quick so he wasn't going see a dried up market.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I am adding something to this:

      Quote Originally Posted by S. View Post
      Career numbers

      Nolasco: 4.37 ERA / 3.76 FIP / 3.75 xFIP 1312.7 IP
      Hughes: 4.54 ERA / 4.31 FIP / 4.31 xFIP 780.7 IP
      Pelfrey: 4.48 ERA / 4.17 FIP / 4.50 xFIP 1049 IP
      Correia: 4.49 ERA / 4.50 FIP / 4.41 xFIP 1251.3 IP
      Deduno: 4.06 ERA / 4.67 FIP / 4.32 xFIP 192.7 IP
      Deduno's sample size is ridiculously small to make any comparisons significant here. And since we are here, here is another one to add to the list:

      Worley: 4.05 ERA/ 3.86 FIP/ 3.97 xFIP, 326.3 IP Much better than Deduno
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      The Twins are "strongly interested" in Bronson Arroyo, even after signing/re-signing 3 starting pitchers, as per the Score. Sounds like the Twins want to make sure that they aren't short at all on starting pitching in 2014.
    1. Zephrin's Avatar
      Zephrin -
      Just a couple points:

      1. Yes, Pelfrey is a "lock" to start the season in the rotation - barring injury. But don't forget that the Twins literally ate Blackburn's $5.5 million contract last year, so I would argue that both Pelfrey and Correa will have to perform to keep their rotation slots if there are AAA guys banging down the door. (Nolasco and Hughes would seem to have a longer leash based on dollars and years.)

      2. I think everyone would probably be more comfortable with Meyer starting in AAA, and Deduno will almost certainly be brought along slowly this spring.

      3. Injuries and spot starts will almost assuredly mean the Twins will need 8ish starters at some point. Nolasco, Hughes, Pelfrey, Correa, Gibson, Meyer, Deduno, Worley, Diamond are a lot better depth options than we have had of late.

      4. If we somehow get to June with a wealth of pitching, someone can be flipped at the deadline. Right now it is December and all we have is a more promising pile of eggs than we've had for a few years. Let's worry about counting chickens after they hatch.
    1. Zephrin's Avatar
      Zephrin -
      Also, if it was basically between Pelfrey and Arroyo, I think the dollars and years makes more sense for Pelfrey. Let someone else pay Arroyo $8 mil for his age 40 season.
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      The last week it was hard not to envision this becoming reality.

      I'm going to take a sunny-side up view point on Pelfrey's signing.

      2014 Garza: After signing with the Diamondbacks Matt's mechanics become all screwed up and he posts a 6.83 ERA pitching in his home ballpark vs a 4.98 on the road.

      2014 Arroyo: Just like Ponce de León's quest to find the fountain of youth ended 500 years ago - Bronson's quest ends in the 2014 season. After signing a 2 year, 20 million dollar contract with the Reds, he starts the season by having 2 quality outings, only to see the rest of his season go up in smoke as he pitches to the tune of a 6.25 ERA the rest of the way, giving up 28HR's in 118 IP.

      2014 Pelfrey: Mike manages to pitch 208 innings for the season, posting a 3.79 ERA.

      Although he only strikes out 128 batters, he is celebrated as a very important piece to the Twins winning 78 games in 2014.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Pelfrey was the Twins' best pitcher in 2013, in a season when he made a record time comeback from TJ surgery. Got his K% up to 17.9 in the second half of the season.

      From 2008-2011 he averaged 195.7 IP a season. He hasn't even turn 30 yet. Very similar pitcher to Hughes when healthy. I expect a lot from him the next 2 seasons.

      All in all a good signing. Not to mention that he is a great clubhouse guy too.
      He was nowhere near our best pitcher. Deduno had a 3.60 era. This move is mind boggling. 5-13, 5.19 era, 1.50 whip should not earn a roster spot, let alone a raise and an additional year. For all this tj talk, he had a 5.00 era in august and september. Between deduno, gibson, and meyer we have guys making no money with more upside.
      And my last point, war for pitchers makes no sense. Let me provide two examples. Ervin santana has a 2.4 war and had a 3.24 era. Pelfrey's was 2.1 even though he gave up two additional er for every nine innings? the concept of wins above replacement would imply that a pitcher that allows more runs than the league average (like pelfrey) would have a negative war. pelfreys era was roughly the same as the twins starters last year and we ranked 29 out of 30.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      My guess is that while we're still technically interested in Arroyo, we might be in the same boat as the Reds, offering a one year type deal. And does Arroyo want to be on a team with 5 other likely starters?
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