10:55pm: In a change of course, the Twins are actually set to select the contract of Gee prior to tomorrow’s game, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (via Twitter). Minnesota was pummeled in a 9-0 loss to the White Sox today, as starter Nik Turley didn’t escape the first inning. Given the excess work required of the ’pen, Gee will be immediately summoned to the Majors.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN also tweets that the Twins will select the contract of Trevor Hildenberger, who ranked among the team’s top 20 or so prospects entering the season and has turned in a 2.05 ERA with 10.3 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 with a 54.4 percent ground-ball rate through 30 2/3 innings in Triple-A.
JUNE 22, 5:29pm: The Twins have announced the signing, noting that Gee will pitch for Rochester tomorrow. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (via Twitter) that Gee has a July 15 opt-out date in his contract and will earn a pro-rated $1MM salary if he’s called up to the Majors.
JUNE 20: The Twins have agreed to a minor league pact with free-agent right-hander Dillon Gee, tweets Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN was the first to report that the two sides were in talks, and SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweeted soon after that the two sides were “very close” to an agreement. Gee is a client of SSG Baseball.
Gee, 31, elected free agency after being outrighted by the Rangers over the weekend. The longtime Mets righty had pitched to a 4.15 ERA through 13 big league innings as well as a 3.88 ERA in 51 Triple-A innings with the Rangers this season. That follows up the 4.68 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 41 percent ground-ball rate that Gee logged in 125 innings as a member of the Royals in 2016.
Gee underwent thoracic outlet surgery back in October but hasn’t shown any lasting effects from that operation thus far in 2017. Gee will head to Triple-A as a starter, though it would seem likely that he’d emerge as a viable option for the big league rotation before long. Outside of Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios, Minnesota starters have struggled through a disastrous 2017 season. Despite the strong work of the team’s top two starters, the Twins’ rotation currently owns a 4.79 ERA that is the eighth-highest of any team in the Majors.
[Related: Minnesota Twins depth chart]
Phil Hughes, Hector Santiago and Trevor May are all on the disabled list, while longtime rotation member Kyle Gibson had to be optioned to Triple-A earlier this season as a result of his early struggles. (Gibson has shown some improvement since returning from Rochester, though he’s yet to rediscover his 2015 form.) Promising young lefty Adalberto Mejia has made a handful of starts thus far, but he hasn’t yet replicated his solid minor league numbers as a big leaguer.
All of that has contributed to a revolving door in the back of the Minnesota rotation, which has led to starts from journeymen Adam Wilk and Nik Turley — both of whom took the hill in a critical weekend series that resulted in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Indians. With that sweep, Cleveland leapfrogged Minnesota and took hold of the division lead.