According to a report by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman the Twins have reached an agreement with Twins free agent pitcher Mike Pelfrey on a two-year $11MM. The report goes on to say that Pelfrey could also earn as much as $3.5 million in performance bonuses. In his first season since undergoing TJ surgery, Pelfrey was 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA in 152.2 innings for Minnesota in 2013. One of the problems I had with the soon (January 14th) to be 30 year-old Pelfrey was that he averaged just 5.25 innings per start last season while throwing an average of 87 pitches per outing. I enjoyed watching grass grow more than I did watching Pelfrey pitch, the man is too slow and deliberate for his own good. He is going to have to improve on that if he hopes to reach 200 innings under Ron Gardenhire and Rick Anderson.
The Twins also signed former Twins outfielder Jason Kubel to a minor league deal. The 31-year-old Kubel was originally a Twins 12th round pick in 2000 and played for Minnesota from 2004-2011 before signing with Arizona as a free agent. Kubel missed the entire 2005 season due to injury. Interestingly some reports have Kubel passing on better offers because he is sure he can make the Twins team. GM Terry Ryan has stated that Kubel will have to show that he can still hit and play both corner outfield positions if he wants to wear the Twins colors this season. Kubel has four 20 home run seasons under his belt with the most recent coming in 2012. If Kubel proves he can still hit the long ball, I have no issue with Kubel being a fourth outfielder and a decent left-handed bat off the bench. The problem you have when you have to get down to 25 is that Kubel can’t play center and you need someone to back up center.
Twins season-ticket holders over the weekend received notices of prices for the July 15 All-Star Game at Target Field. One ticket strip will cost from $401 to $1,416 for Champions Club members. Each strip consists of single tickets for several events: FanFest, the Futures Game, the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, the Home Run Derby and of course the All-Star Game itself. As expected, it won’t be cheap to be part of the All-Star festivities.
The Chicago Cubs claimed RHP Liam Hendriks on waivers after the Twins designated him for assignment. I know Hendriks has struggled with the Twins and he has been in the organization for seven years but he is still only 24 years old, hate to see the Twins give up on him.
The Minnesota Twins passed on the Rule 5 draft this year for the fourth time (2009, 2007, 2003) since 2000. I find it interesting that a team that has been so bad for three years could not find a spot on the 40 man roster for a Rule 5 draft pick.
The recent 2014 spring training schedule that the Twins organization recently mailed out indicates that spring training tickets go on sale on January 11th. I find it funny that 6 out of their 16 home games are classified as “premium” games, seems to me that any spring training game called “premium” is an oxymoron.
UPDATE Decembe 17 – Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Kubel will earn $2 million if he makes the roster out of Spring Training and can earn another $1 million via incentives. Kubel will earn $150K for reaching 300 and 350 plate appearances, plus $200K for reaching 400 PAs. He also will receive $150K for spending 30 and 60 days on the Major League roster and another $200K if he reaches 90 days.