Well, this one is a little bit confusing.
Lavelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Minnesota Twins are in hot pursuit of starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey, and while that may not seem to be out of the ordinary, the strangeness of it all would be clear momentarily.
The Twins have made progress with trying to re-sign Pelfrey, increasing their two-year, $10 million offer to two years and around $12 million. Each side likes working with the other, but how much farther are the Twins willing to go in order to sign a pitcher who was 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA last season? The Giants and Rangers also have shown interest in Pelfrey.
You read that right. Mike Pelfrey was just offered $6 million per season over 2 years, just months after posting a 5.19 ERA in a pitcher’s ballpark like Target Field. In fairness to Pelfrey, that ERA figure significantly worse than his career number of 4.48 (4.17 FIP, 4.50 xFIP), but it still begs two questions.
Why would the Twins go 2 years at that price for Pelfrey? and WHY would Pelfrey not sign the deal immediately?
To be honest, I’m not positive of the answer to either question, but this seems like a steal for Pelfrey and a disaster for the Twins. Minnesota has been pitching-starved for some time, but Pelfrey has less than a 2-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio for his career, and has been less than effective since his 2010 campaign with the Mets.
Still, pitching is insanely expensive this off-season, and a 29-year old arm with over 10 WAR in just 1,049 innings is certainly worth something on the open market. It’ll be quite interesting to see the reactions if Pelfrey turns down this type of deal, but until then, we’re left wondering what direction Minnesota is heading toward in their rotation.