It’s been less than a week since the Tigers announced the unconditional release of starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey, and it appears has has already found a new team to take him in. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag sports, the Chicago White Sox and Pelfrey have agreed to terms on a deal.
The Tigers had originally signed Pelfrey to a two year, $16 million contract ahead of the 2016 season, but after a disappointing showing, and a dismal spring where he did not appear to have made any improvements, the Tigers decided to give him his unconditional release and eat the remainder of his contract cost. Pelfrey had a 4-10 record with the Tigers last season and a 5.07 ERA. His FIP for the season was 5.15.
The details of the agreement with the White Sox have not yet been released, but it is anticipated Pelfrey will join their starting rotation alongside Jose Quintana, James Shields, Derek Holland and Miguel Gonzalez. Carlos Rodon, who was slated to be the White Sox fifth starter, is currently on the DL after being diagnosed with inflammation in his left bicep tendon during spring training last month. The White Sox, of course, are without their ace Chris Sale this year, following his offseason trade to the Red Sox.
As the White Sox have no aspirations in 2016 beyond seasoning their fancy new prospects in the minor leagues, adding Pelfrey, presumably for very little compensation, makes sense. It fits with their pattern of adding faded veteran starters, in the hopes one will rebound enough to become a modest commodity. In the process, they have the space to allow their younger pitching talent to develop at their own pace. And, should they find a deal they like for their de facto ace, Jose Quintana, they’ve got the cheap depth to eat the necessary innings.
For the rest of the division, it means another opportunity to feast on the south side.
Update: While the full terms of Pelfrey’s deal with the White Sox have yet to be announced, the agreement between the two parties is for a minor league contract. Pelfrey has been assigned to the White Sox’ Triple-A Charlotte affiliate.