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.


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 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.

73 Responses to Twins Re-Sign Mike Pelfrey Leave a Reply

  1. Sky14 2 years ago

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

  2. Ben 2 years ago

    what a joke….

  3. James F 2 years ago

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

  4. AZDbacksfan1 2 years ago

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

    • phillies1102 2 years 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 2 years ago

        Correa outpitched his contract last season.

        • phillies1102 2 years ago

          That he did.

        • cman 2 years 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.

  5. Jason 2 years ago

    5.5 a year… good luck big pelf.

  6. GriffeyandSizemore 2 years ago

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

  7. MJensen 2 years ago

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

    • Destry 2 years ago

      Then maybe FIP needs to be adjusted.

    • Slappy McGee 2 years 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 2 years 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.

  8. MJensen 2 years 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.

  9. Minnesota Matt 2 years ago

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

  10. levendis 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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.

  11. Thunda Pig 2 years ago

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

    • 0vercast 2 years ago

      Pelfrey is more like a 6.

      • Infield Fly 2 years 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…

  12. Thunda Pig 2 years ago

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

  13. Pei Kang 2 years ago

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

    • rxbrgr 2 years ago

      You like it that much eh?

      • Pei Kang 2 years ago

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

  14. JJ 2 years ago

    I cant wait to see Garza contract.!

  15. Sam 2 years 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.

  16. NewYorkMammoths 2 years ago

    This is Scott Boras’ Mona Lisa.

  17. TWINS-4-EVER 2 years ago

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

    • Curt Green 2 years ago

      Really? Like it wasn’t last year?

      • TWINS-4-EVER 2 years ago

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

  18. Dylan Griffin 2 years 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 2 years 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.

  19. twins33 2 years 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.

  20. Jose_Who 2 years 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 2 years ago

      Yes, and takes forever to throw a pitch.

      • Jose_Who 2 years ago

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

      • nepp 2 years 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 2 years 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.

  21. Benny 2 years ago

    How does going 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA earn you a $1.5 mil raise?

    • Tko11 2 years ago

      Not sure, but I’m going to the backyard right now to practice my knuckleball…

  22. Benny 2 years ago

    ” SIERA projected a 4.63 ERA, while xFIP suggested Pelfrey was in line for a 4.54 mark.”

    That’s still horrible!

  23. Jason McNeely 2 years ago

    Looks like Bronson’s gonna have almost no choice but to go back to Cincy. Mets shelled out for Colon, Angels acquired Skaggs and another pitcher, Twins got Hughes, Nolasco, and now Pelfrey. I don’t know anywhere else where Arroyo fits.

  24. haplito 2 years ago


  25. Michael 2 years ago

    If Pelfrey’s worth 5.5 mil, what is Kershaw going to be asking for?

  26. Dalton Smith 2 years ago

    I still hope they can sign Arroyo to that three year deal after signing back Pelfrey

  27. GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

    Woah the Twins rotation is upgraded but… Nolasco is a #3 on a good team, Hughes is a #4 possibly a #5, and Correia and Pelfrey are spot #6 starters, but possible #5’s they need a big splash.

    • Slappy McGee 2 years ago

      Still in 90 loss territory, especially now that they gave away Doumit, one of the few clutch hitters on the roster.

  28. rct 2 years ago

    I understand the reasoning that ‘this is the market’, but a #5 spot in the rotation isn’t really a position to command anything. The Twins could have just as easily not spent this money and just called up a random minor leaguer to give you the same type of production that Pelfrey gives you. There is no value in being an ‘innings eater’ when all of those innings are below average, is there?

    Also, two years is nonsensical. Even Chris Young only got a one year deal (and at only $1.75MM less) and imo, he’s worth way more than Pelfrey. At most, Pelfrey should’ve gotten one year, $3MM.

  29. JRC 2 years ago

    i think those three pitchers combined, might win 20 games. COMBINED

    • twins33 2 years ago

      Assuming the rotation is Nolasco, Hughes, Correia, Deduno and Pelfrey…

      14 wins for Nolasco and Hughes would be replacing the combined total of Diamond and Albers (the two starters with the most IP among those who can be removed from the rotation). Those two had a combined 8 wins so this would be plus six wins for the 2013 team. That would have meant 72 wins for them last year. Pre-Mauer concussion the Twins were on pace for 72/73 wins, so add Nolasco and Hughes and a non concussed Mauer and the 2013 Twins could have been a 78 win team.

      That’s a 12 win swing from their actual 2013 record. I think the Twins would gladly take a near .500 record in 2014 with Meyer, May, Sano, Rosario, Hicks, Gibson, Santana and Buxton coming up in 2014 or 2015. Buxton could be 2016 if he ever slows down.

      • pft2 2 years ago

        Are you really arguing Nolasco and Hughes are 6 wins above replacement? Maybe 1/2 if that. Also, seems you did not factor in the loss of Morneau

        • twins33 2 years ago

          JRC did not say WAR, JRC said wins. There is a difference. Albers and Diamond won 8 games for the Twins last year. If Nolasco and Hughes get 14 out of the 20 wins JRC thought they would get then that is six more wins than Diamond and Albers

          Prior to Mauer getting a concussion, the Twins were on pace for 72/73 wins. His concussion happened in mid to late August so it’s probably safe to say they keep that pace. Once they lost him things got way worse. Add in Nolasco and Hughes six extra wins to that on pace team and you get near .500.

          No one said anything about WAR but you. And as much as I love Morneau he is a shell of himself and hasn’t hit lefties in the last 1.5 years. I’ll be happy if he gets back on track, but the Twins aren’t going to miss a guy who is around a .260/.328/.426 hitter. At least not too much. He’s not the same guy anymore. It’s a loss, but not a crippler.

  30. joe 2 years ago

    pitched 29 games 1 year after tommy john and is only 29 years old good sign all these people complain but what the twins need is not and ace its just innings pitched by the starting rotation they bull pen was a top 10 bull pen in the majors with the most innings pitched by over 20 innings. they three pitchers we signed were 3 of the youngest on the market and they did not have to give up a draft pick why give money to a old guy who has no future with the team

    • BCleveland3381 2 years ago

      That’s completely untrue. The Twins DO need an ace. They could even use a number two. All they did is sign a bunch of #3-5 starters to go with their group of #3-5 starters. At some point you have to have someone you can match up against other teams’ best starters.

      • Red_Line_9 2 years ago

        True, but for most teams, that ace needs to come from within the system. There’s no guarantee that the Twins could take the money they gave Nolasco/Hughes/Pelfrey and turn it into an ace. My opinion is that there are very few aces out there, and the ones that do appear on the market are nearly always going to be priced into the upper tier of teams, or resigned by their own team. Matt Garza is not an ace in my opinion, and Bronson Arroyo certainly isn’t. Pelfrey was truly awful at times last season, and this seems like a loyalty signing. But if Twins fans will be patient…that sense of organizational loyalty might pay off down the road with their young core coming up. They had to do something with the rotation, though, the bats are way ahead of the arms in the minors.

  31. pft2 2 years ago

    Pelfrey and Hughes were 2 of the worst starters in baseball last year.. Perhaps they will be better next year, if not another dismal season is in store for the Twins.

  32. 0vercast 2 years ago

    Vomit. I was hoping I’d never have to see him pitch again.

    • Jose_Who 2 years ago

      So I see he hasn’t changed much from his Mets days?

  33. cman 2 years ago

    This deal makes me want to puke. Why not spend the extra money and sign Garza? This signing is a complete waste of time and money. Correia will be a free agent at seasons end. Hughes is a fly ball pitcher that will probably never duplicate 2010. Pelfrey is a mental head case. Just a waste of money. Twins would have been better off signing Nolasco and Garza and going with youngsters to fill out the rest of the rotation.

  34. Ryan 2 years ago

    OOOOOF-da. He gets a pay raise after last year? Wow.

  35. Chad Woelk 2 years ago

    All these bad signings for the Twins make me wonder if Dayton Moore and Terry Ryan switched jobs this year!!

  36. Tko11 2 years ago

    This signing doesn’t even make sense…could fill that spot with almost any pitcher and get the same results for way less money. Sano and Buxton are exciting but they really need to develop or trade/sign some top tier pitching. If they had more money to work with I’d say Tanaka may be a decent gamble for them.

  37. BeyondOsiris 2 years ago

    I don’t really understand how signing so many 4s and 5s is supposed to help the Twins..

Leave a Reply