Mike Pelfrey Signs With Twins; Phillies Bolster Rotation and Bullpen


Obviously, the biggest Mets news from this weekend involves R.A. Dickey and Travis d’Arnaud, as New York and Toronto agreed in principle to a deal that would include these two players, along with John Buck, Noah Syndergaard, Josh Thole, and two more unidentified prospects in a blockbuster deal. The final step? The Jays were granted a 72-hour window to negotiate an extension with Dickey, with the deadline being set for tomorrow afternoon at 2pm.

Not many around the league feel this deal will fall through; Dickey truly values job security, especially after it took him so long to become a viable starter in the Major Leagues. I don’t see why the Blue Jays won’t give him what he’s looking for, as he was asking the Mets for somewhere in the neighborhood of an additional two years and $26 million on top of his $5 million option in 2013. So, I think most anticipate the two sides agreeing to an extension, completing this deal, and giving the Mets the game’s top catching prospect.

Apr. 21, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey (34) pitches during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, another pitcher made himself a former Met yesterday, as Mike Pelfrey agreed to a one-year deal worth $4 million to take his talents to Target Field and join the Twins starting rotation. In addition to his base salary, he can potentially earn another $1.5 million through incentives. Although Terry Collins and Dan Warthen expressed interest in Big Pelf returning to Flushing this upcoming season, they brought up the possibility of him pitching out of the bullpen, something Pelfrey said he wasn’t interested in doing, as he continues rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He also received some interest from teams like the Indians, Mariners, and Pirates, but the Twins eventually won as they continue to completely rebuild their rotation, and attempting to reverse their misfortune that has turned into two straight 90-loss campaigns.

This signing signifies the end of an up-and-down relationship between Pelfrey and the Mets, the team who selected him with the 9th overall pick of the 2005 amateur draft. In seven years with the Amazins, he never fully reached his potential, compiling a 50-54 record with a 4.36 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and 5.9 K/9IP. It was only three starts into 2012 when Pelfrey had to go under the knife, making him a probable non-tender candidate, as the Mets would have been obligated to offer no less than 80% of the $5.6 million he made last season if offered arbitration. He’ll apparently be ready to pitch on Opening Day, but $4 million is too much to throw at someone coming back from a serious injury. However, Scott Boras was able to work some magic for his client.

The Phillies were also busy over the weekend, as they made two signings to help bolster their pitching staff after trading a lot of it away in order to acquire Ben Revere and Michael Young. First, Ruben Amaro, Jr. agreed to terms with recently non-tendered starting pitcher John Lannan, on a one-year/$2.5 million contract, which includes incentives that could put the total dollar value to $5 million. Lannan put together a 4-1 record with a 4.13 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 32.2 innings pitched at the Big League level this season, yet was the odd man out in Washington with the Nationals, which led to his release.

Philadelphia was also looking for bullpen help, mainly a set-up man to bridge the gap to closer Jonathan Papelbon, and they found their man in Mike Adams, who agreed to join the Phillies with a two-year/$12 million contract. An option for the third year will be exercised if he appears in 120 games between the next two seasons. The 34-year-old right-hander spent his last two seasons in Texas with the Rangers, and posted a 5-3 record with a 3.27 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 45 strikeouts in 52.1 innings pitched (61 appearances) in 2012.

While I’m not too bothered by the signing of Adams (that’s out of Sandy’s price range for a reliever), but I wish they paid a little more attention to John Lannan. If R.A. Dickey does agree to an extension with the Blue Jays and there is a void left in the Mets starting rotation, word is they will be giving Jenrry Mejia every opportunity to win the job before the team breaks from Spring Camp. While it is time for New York to see what their young pitcher can offer them when given a worthy shot, a little competition never hurts either. That’s what Lannan could have provided, as well as Pelfrey. Alderson could have signed either to a one-year flyer without much financial commitment, and if Mejia isn’t ready after Spring Training, the Mets could’ve left camp with a Major League caliber starter while they wait for Zack Wheeler get ready for the Show. There are more low-cost free agent options in the pitching market to consider, but we’ll see what Sandy does once the Dickey deal is complete. He’ll likely make his way into the available outfielders, which I take a look into tomorrow right here on Rising Apple.