On Friday morning, reports surfaced that the Tigers have come to terms with free agent pitcher Mike Pelfrey. Tigers' fans should be familiar with Pelfrey, as he spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Twins and has made 10 starts against the Tigers in his career.
Pelfrey is a 6'7" righty who turns 32 years old in January. He has consistently posted about 2 WAR during his healthy seasons, which is more than sufficient for the role he will fill, but has struggled with injury issues. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, and had his elbow was operated on again in 2014 to relieve pressure on a nerve. He also battled a groin injury in 2014, resulting in only 24 uninspiring innings.
However, he bounced back in 2015, posting his usual 4.00 FIP over 165 innings, good enough for 2.0 fWAR. His contract is being reported as $16 million over the next two seasons, which is identical to Fangraphs' crowdsourced estimate. and Pelfrey should have no problem exceeding that value if he can avoid injury. Which may be a big "if" -- his health is the major concern, here.
Pelfrey looks to join Daniel Norris at the back end of a Tigers rotation that also includes Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann, and Anibal Sanchez. His contract leaves the Tigers with something like $5 million of wiggle room before the luxury tax kicks in.