Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com passes along word that the Astros have claimed right-hander Samuel Deduno off waivers from the Twins. He was plucked off outright waivers, not revocable waivers as we often see during the month of August, so no trade was required.
After playing a significant role for the Dominican Republic in last year’s World Baseball Classic, Deduno posted a 3.83 ERA over 18 starts with the Twins last season, though his secondary numbers weren’t all that impressive. The 31-year-old has split this season between the starting rotation and the bullpen, putting up a 4.60 ERA and 74/41 K/BB ratio in 92 innings over eight starts and 22 relief appearances.
Interestingly, Deduno has a solid 3.21 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 22 walks over 53 1/3 innings in a relief role this season. Meanwhile, he owns a 56 percent ground ball rate for his career. The Twins thought he was expendable, but it’s easy to see why the rebuilding Astros are intrigued.
Mike Pelfrey turned in another terrible start for the Twins today, allowing five runs in four innings against the Dodgers to drop to 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA on the season.
Pelfrey was also terrible for the Twins last season, going 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts, yet for some reason Minnesota felt the need to re-sign him and gave him a two-year contract worth $11 million.
And now, five starts into that deal, it sounds like they’re preparing to dump him from the rotation. Manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters after the game that the coaching staff will meet to discuss the options with Pelfrey, but Samuel Deduno is available to step into the rotation if needed and the Twins also have top prospect Alex Meyer waiting in the wings at Triple-A.
Re-signing Pelfrey struck me as a bad idea at the time and certainly looks even worse now, with a slight drop in velocity and horrendous control suggesting that he may not be at full strength physically in addition to simply not being all that good.
Phil Hughes will join Ricky Nolasco in a rebuilt Twins rotation, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, agreeing to a three-year, $24 million contract on Saturday.
Hughes, the winter’s youngest free agent at age 27, is coming off a rough season in which he went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts and one relief appearance for the Yankees. Getting out of Yankee Stadium and it’s shallow right field porch should do him a whole lot of good, though it’s not like he’s been any sort of ace on the road, either.
The curious thing is that Hughes held out for the longer deal rather than going the Josh Johnson route and signing a one-year contract, with the chance of landing a much bigger payday next winter. Certainly, if he had bounced back and turned in a season more like his 2012, he could have been in a position to land the kind of four-year, $49 million deal that Nolasco just got or something bigger. Frankly, it suggests a lack of confidence that he’d rather have the much more modest three-year deal right now.
With Hughes and Nolasco in the fold, the Twins have clearly upgraded what was the league’s ugliest rotation last season. Kevin Correia will be back to occupy another spot, with Samuel Deduno a heavy favorite to join him. The team still has to decide whether to bring in another veteran or to let Kyle Gibson, Vance Worley, Andrew Albers and Scott Diamond compete for the fifth spot.