Mike Pelfrey joins Twins’ rotation following Ervin Santana suspension


Twins starter Ervin Santana was suspended 80 games Friday afternoon after testing positive for Stanozolol. The move is a huge blow to the Twins, as they had signed Santana to a four-year, $55 million contract in December. The now-vacant rotation spot will go to Mike Pelfrey, Twins’ director of baseball communications and player relations Dustin Morse tweets. The Twins have recalled lefty Aaron Thompson to fill the open spot in the bullpen.

Pelfrey was expected to open the season in the bullpen after losing the spring training rotation battle to left-hander Tommy Milone. Pelfrey, who posted a 1.15 ERA in 15 2/3 spring innings, was miffed, initially expressing that he would be happy with a trade. After sleeping on the matter, Pelfrey took back his comments.

Pelfrey, 31, was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system, but he compiled a 4.36 ERA in the majors with the Mets before joining the Twins for the 2013 season. He underwent surgery for ulnar nerve decompression on his right elbow last June.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
Mark Brown/Getty Images

MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.