Twins Re-Sign Mike Pelfrey

The Twins have been uncharacteristically aggressive on the free agent market this offseason, and they continued the trend by officially announcing the signing of Mike Pelfrey to a two-year, $11MM contract today. Pelfrey can reportedly earn $3.5MM in performance bonuses.

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The Twins have been linked frequently with 29-year-old this offseason. Though he posted a 5.19 ERA for Minnesota in 2013, it's perhaps a positive that Pelfrey managed 152 2/3 innings in returning from Tommy John surgery. ERA estimators also suggest he may have been the victim of some bad luck. SIERA projected a 4.63 ERA, while xFIP suggested Pelfrey was in line for a 4.54 mark, and FIP pegged him at 3.99.

The Twins have spent heavily on pitching this offseason, signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughesbut were rumored to be targeting further rotation help. GM Terry Ryan's push to revamp the rotation was no doubt brought on by the 5.26 ERA Twins starters coughed up in 2013, good for last in the majors. The 871 total innings the Twins got from their rotation in 2013 was also worst among big league teams.

While Pelfrey lacks the impact potential of Nolasco and Hughes, he's a good bet to provide innings. Prior to undergoing Tommy John in 2012, the 6'7", 250-pound right-hander was the picture of durability. He averaged 196 frames with the Mets from 2008 to 2011, posting a 4.27 ERA over that span. In 1,049 career big league innings, Pelfrey owns a 4.48 ERA and a 47.8 pecent ground-ball rate. If Pelfrey can improve on last season's 43.2 percent ground-ball rate and inch closer to his career mark, it should bode well for the right-hander. Minnesota deploys a strong defensive tandem up the middle in the form of Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon.

Between Pelfrey, Nolasco and Hughes, the Twins have now committed $84MM to three pitchers this winter. Those three will join Kevin Correia in the rotation, with Kyle Gibson, Vance Worley, Scott Diamond and Samuel Deduno fighting for the fifth and final spot. However, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com tweets that the team hasn't ruled out acquiring another starter. The Twins "definitely" still have money to spend, according to Wolfson.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to report the agreement and the terms of the contract (Twitter links).

Steve Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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73 Comments on "Twins Re-Sign Mike Pelfrey"


Sky14
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t know the terms but I hate this deal.

phillies1102
1 year 8 months ago

Me too, and I’m not even a Twins fan.

Ben
1 year 8 months ago

what a joke….

James F
1 year 8 months ago

This probably throws away my prediction of the Twins signing Jason Hammel to a 1 year deal

rxbrgr
1 year 8 months ago

I would have preferred that…

Slappy McGee
1 year 8 months ago

I would have preferred Dorothy Hamill

AZDbacksfan1
1 year 8 months ago

2 years and 11 MILLION?!?!?! And I thought the Hughes deal with to much…

phillies1102
1 year 8 months ago

That’s the market now. Remember Correia got 2 years, $10 million after 12-11, 4.79 ERA season. Even Roberto Hernandez got $4.5 guaranteed for a year.

Sam
1 year 8 months ago

Correa outpitched his contract last season.

phillies1102
1 year 8 months ago

That he did.

cman
1 year 8 months ago

And he won’t do it again this season. Twins carrying two guys that will have 5+ era’s for sure in 2014. Correia & Pelfrey. They should have just spent the money and signed Garza. Too late now though.

Jason
1 year 8 months ago

5.5 a year… good luck big pelf.

GriffeyandSizemore
1 year 8 months ago

This makes Hughs and Roberto Hernandez both look like better signings.

MJensen
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah Pelfrey’s FIP has always indicated he’s not the choke artist that he actually is.

Destry
1 year 8 months ago

Then maybe FIP needs to be adjusted.

Slappy McGee
1 year 8 months ago

FIP in general is rubbish. Some pitchers stats always belie their FIP. What is, is and what some number cruncher thinks should be is wholly irrelevant

Wudlander3000
1 year 8 months ago

The thing is that I – although I like to look at FIP – you never should look at FIP alone. His SIERA and xFIP haven been both (nearly) always higher than his FIP, so this suggests that his FIP is unreliable when looked at alone.

MJensen
1 year 8 months ago

Probably 4 or 5 Rule 5 starters at league minimum could do better than Pelfrey. Oh yeah, but those are “unproven”, in contrast to Pelfrey, who has plenty of experience being awful.

Minnesota Matt
1 year 8 months ago

so… they didn’t watch him pitch last year at all? Horrible deal..

levendis
1 year 8 months ago

So the Twins spend like what $85m on pitching? and they got Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Mike Pelfrey. I would like to say this is a poor allocation of resources/ sever overpays, but this might just be what the market for SPs is these days… scary.

Ryan
1 year 8 months ago

The Twins didn’t overpay for any of these guys this is just what the market for starting pitching looks like these days. I mean Bartolo Colon got a 2 year deal at 40 worth 10 million a year

Mil8Ball
1 year 8 months ago

Giving Mike Pelfrey 5mil isn’t bad if you need to fill your #5 and have other really good starters with no one else available period…but the Twins giving him a multi year deal is just brainless.

They overpaid and gave him multiple years. Its a double fail.

cman
1 year 8 months ago

Nolasco was a good signing. But the money they paid Hughes and Pelfrey, fail. I don’t know why Terry Ryan is so obsessed with reclamation pitchers. Ridiculous.

Red_Line_9
1 year 8 months ago

My thought is that they are trying to add affordable rotation arms, because they have a solid group of offensive players coming through the system, but the young arms aren’t there. They resemble KC a few seasons ago. Sano and Buxton are going to be very good, and they have several others who will be solid contributors.

Thunda Pig
1 year 8 months ago

Lets collect as many number fours as we can – Twins thinking.

0vercast
1 year 8 months ago

Pelfrey is more like a 6.

Infield Fly
1 year 8 months ago

That’s really kind of you. I know he really tries, but his inability to master his considerable talent and his tendency to implode makes me think of him as more of an eight or nine…

Thunda Pig
1 year 8 months ago

Where is Carl Pavano? I hope he stays healthy this winter shoveling, he can fit right into this rotation.

Pei Kang
1 year 8 months ago

!!!!……that’s about all I can say about this signing.

rxbrgr
1 year 8 months ago

You like it that much eh?

Pei Kang
1 year 8 months ago

hahahaha. Well, not even a Twins fan, a Met fan in reality. So, I know ALL about Pelfrey…

JJ
1 year 8 months ago

I cant wait to see Garza contract.!

Sam
1 year 8 months ago

Rotation spots have become lucrative in free agency. 5.5 million to be very honest is not a lot of money these days to invest in a major league starter spot. For Mike Pelfrey his stats last year weren’t pretty but you have to put that into context. He was only 1 year removed from Tommy John Surgery, for those familiar with the surgery – it often takes pitchers some time to regain the confidence and velocity they once had. This is exactly what I saw when I watched Pelfrey pitch. He was roughed up quite a bit in the first half of the season but look at his final month, month and a half and he was pitching longer into games and was far more effective. Twins probably noticed this and are making a bet that he continues to progress in the right direction during the duration of this new deal. As a back of the rotation starter, I don’t think 2/11 is a bad contract at all. In fact, of the three pitchers the Twins signed this offseason, Pelfrey has the easiest road toward being the best value of the three.

NewYorkMammoths
1 year 8 months ago

This is Scott Boras’ Mona Lisa.

Slappy McGee
1 year 8 months ago

Or Terry Ryan’s Wayne Garland…

TWINS-4-EVER
1 year 8 months ago

We wanted Garza or Arroyo and they pick Pelfrey. Nice going Twins way to f up the team

Curt Green
1 year 8 months ago

Really? Like it wasn’t last year?

TWINS-4-EVER
1 year 8 months ago

Well they still may add Arroyo so maybe they didn’t f up the rotation to much

Dylan Griffin
1 year 8 months ago

So committing and spending big on pitching only nets the Twins Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfrey? All of which are #4 starters or worse. I can’t believe for $85 MM, they couldn’t get better than those three.

cman
1 year 8 months ago

Agreed. Epic waste of payroll. Nolasco was a good signing but Hughes and Pelfrey? Terry Ryan makes me want to puke. Why sign those other two when you could have signed Garza for four years? just doesn’t make any damn sense.

twins33
1 year 8 months ago

As much as I don’t want the constant finger licking, 3 minutes to throw one pitch Mike Pelfrey it’s better than possibly being stuck with Arroyo at 3/36.

If Pelfrey is bad it’s easier to cut him or put him in the bullpen. If Arroyo doesn’t go a minimum of 185 innings every year he becomes an over 10 million per paper weight. Not sure I trust a guy in his late 30s to remain so superhuman. I’m not at all convinced that Arroyo is worth 3 times more than Correia.

I’ll just have to hope that he’s second half Pelfrey: ERA below 5, 7.2 k/9, fastball back at 92-95. If he’s not, he doesn’t cost that much and may work in the bullpen.

My first choice was Garza, if not him then Capuano, if not then stand pat. Here’s to hoping for that second half version.

Jose_Who
1 year 8 months ago

Does he still compulsively lick his hands? He was just strange to watch. At times, he looked fantastic, but mostly just totally lost. I do wish him well.

twins33
1 year 8 months ago

Yes, and takes forever to throw a pitch.

Jose_Who
1 year 8 months ago

It’s maddening… He has that 2-seamer and pretty decent stuff, just his head is a mess.

nepp
1 year 8 months ago

God forbid any umps actually enforce the delay of game rule. Same with Papelbon on the Phillies. Easily 30+ seconds between each pitch for both of them.

twins33
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah, it really needs to be. I think I’ve only seen it enforced once ever. I don’t remember who the pitcher was though.