Twins agree to 1-year deal with Pelfrey

Twins agree to 1-year deal with Pelfrey

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Mike Pelfrey once was a promising prospect for the New York Mets, a groundball-inducing machine who chewed up innings and bats with a hard sinker that tumbled out of his 6-foot-7 frame.

He's 28 years old now, coming off of Tommy John surgery and was sitting in the free agent bargain bin, which is where the Minnesota Twins have been shopping for starting pitchers all offseason.

The Twins agreed to terms with the right-hander on a $4 million, one-year contract, adding him to the mix in a starting rotation filled with ``pitch-to-contact'' guys who rely more on their defense making plays behind them than they do striking hitters out with overpowering stuff.

Pelfrey went 50-54 with a 4.36 ERA in seven seasons with the Mets, including a four-year run in which he pitched at least 184 innings and topped 200 innings twice. But he has averaged just 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings, which means he fits right in with a Twins rotation built on light-throwing, location-oriented arms.

He missed almost all of last season after having the ligament replacement surgery and is now working on his comeback. His deal calls for $1.5 million in performance bonuses, including $100,000 for 150 innings, $150,000 for 160 innings, $250,000 each for 170, 180 and 190 innings and $500,000 for 200 innings, a person with knowledge of the agreement said on Tuesday. The person requested anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

Pelfrey will join Scott Diamond, Vance Worley and Kevin Correia in the new-look rotation. Only Diamond was a holdover from last year's staff, which is probably a good thing.

Twins starters went 39-75 with a 5.40 ERA last year, a disastrous season that put their staff ahead of only Colorado in the majors. Twelve players took at least five starts last season, and the dearth of power arms was one of the organization's biggest weaknesses in their second straight last-place finish in the AL Central.

They added highly touted prospects Alex Meyer and Trevor May in trades, but both will likely take at least another year of seasoning in the minors before they're ready to join the rotation. They also have their own prospect, Kyle Gibson, coming off of Tommy John surgery. He could join the rotation this season sometime but is expected to be on an innings limit similar to what Washington's Stephen Strasburg was on last season.

Pelfrey will have to pass a physical before the deal becomes official.


AP Sports Writer Ron Blum contributed to this report.

Quick Links

Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire adds for Week 4

USAT Sports Images

Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire adds for Week 4

Week 3 has come and passed, and a new group of signal callers have become fantasy relevant. Gardner Minshew took the world by storm after dazzling on Thursday Night Football, Kyle Allen stepped in for Cam Newton and tossed four touchdowns, and Daniel Jones came from behind to lead the Giants to victory and made Dave Gettleman look like a genius for taking him when he did. 

As is common as the season begins to carry on, week by week, the waiver wire targets will become less and less intriguing, and backups will predominantly be the top adds.

However a new factor emerges that you can take advantage of. The second wave of the waiver wire. People in your league are undoubtedly growing tired of certain players on their fantasy teams after slow starts and will look to replace them this week. When the players they drop hit the waivers, you need to be in prime position to scoop them up. Then, the following morning or 24 hours after your claim is submitted, those transactions will go through. Stay on top of recent transactions throughout the week to stash a player you see long-term value in.

All Waiver Wire candidates must be available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues.

WEEK 4 Waiver Wire Options

Daniel Jones QB, New York Giants
Available in 85.4 % of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: vs. Redskins

Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Available in 94.8% of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: at Broncos

Kyle Allen, QB, Carolina Panthers
Available in 98.5% of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: at Texans

Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
Available in 77.9 % of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: at Bills

Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Available in 97.5 % of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: at Lions

D.J. Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Available in 59% of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: at Broncos

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers
Available in 50.9% of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: vs. Eagles

Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Available in 54.1% of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: at Packers

Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins
Available in 96.8% of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: vs. Chargers

Will Dissly, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Available in 72.7% of ESPN leagues
Week 4 Opponent: at Cardinals

Quick Links

Despite their playoff success, both Siegenthaler, Djoos still have something to prove

Despite their playoff success, both Siegenthaler, Djoos still have something to prove

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Jonas Siegenthaler has been here before. One year ago he looked like a lock to make the Capitals roster out of training camp. In fact, as the team prepared for the start of the season, he was told he had made the team. Then Tom Wilson was suspended and the Caps needed to clear cap space for his replacement. Thus, the waiver-exempt Siegenthaler was sent down to the Hershey Bears.

Siegenthaler eventually did get called up to Washington and played in 26 NHL games last season. He also played in four playoff games, eventually playing on the top pair next to John Carlson in place of the injured Michal Kempny.

Despite what he accomplished last season, however, clearly making the team for the start of the season means something to Siegenthaler.

“It's my goal,” he said. “I haven't had the chance to walk on the red carpet on opening night. I think that's pretty special and that's for sure one of my goals.”

With the Caps so close to the salary cap ceiling, however, Siegenthaler comes into camp knowing he will have to once again earn his spot on the roster.

Christian Djoos is in a similar position.

Djoos’ resume is longer than Seigenthaler’s as he played in 22 playoff games in Washington’s run to the Stanley Cup. He was not able to build on that momentum the following year, however, as he suffered compartment syndrome in his thigh and the resulting surgery kept him out from mid-December to early-February.

“Last year was a weird year,” Djoos said. “Injured, played, scratched. It was just a weird year so I need to be better over the 82 games.”

Though he denied the injury still impacted him after his return, Djoos did not look like the same player and played in just 45 games.

Djoos now faces an uncertain future with the franchise because of the cap.

“We all know the situation,” Djoos said. “It's nothing I think about. I'm here right now. I'm happy to be here and excited to get the season going.”

With only three more preseason games and just over a week of training camp remaining, both players find themselves in a similar position with higher expectations and having to prove they deserve a spot on the roster over the young prospects nipping at their heels.

“We have a couple of young guys who have played well,” general manager Brian MacLellan said at media day. “[Martin] Fehervary played really well in the rookie camp. He looks like he’s going to be a good player. [Alex] Alexeyev played good the one game and then got hurt. Those are good young players, good prospects. Siegenthaler has progressed well. I think he’s going to be a good player in this league and he should come in at a higher level this year than he has last year. I thought he finished up well. Djoos, we’re looking for a rebound season. I think the injury set him back, so it’s important for him to have a good camp and a good start to the year.”

“That's how it is, I think,” Djoos said. “It's a great organization, great young players. ... That's good I think that we compete for every spot. That's a good thing.”

When asked what they wanted to improve on for this season, both Siegenthaler and Djoos said consistency.

While the salary cap is tight, there is a possibility that both players make the final roster. If that happens, both will get time on the third pairing which will mean cycling in and out again as they did last season. The lack of consistent playing time can often lead to a lack of consistent play. Both players know that is not going to cut it this season.

Siegenthaler also said he has worked on improving his skating and he entered camp feeling more confident about his chances after last year.

“If you have confidence, you just play your game,” he said. “It just comes automatically so you've got to have a healthy confidence.”

Siegenthaler is certainly confident but also determined. He came oh so close to starting the season on the NHL roster last year only to see it slip away at the last moment. This year, he is determined not to let that happen.

“I want to walk onto the red carpet,” he said. “I'll do everything to be on the carpet.”