The Twins have already committed $20 million per season over the next three years to pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. This is a clear sign of progress and attention being paid to the starting rotation, even if there are still gobs of Twins fans out there who will never be satisfied with any offseason unless it includes landing the 10 best free agents.
Nolasco and Hughes were definitely among the top 10-15 starters available on the market this offseason. So are Bronson Arroyo and Matt Garza -- the former being around the same slot as Nolasco, perhaps, and the latter being above all of them because of his potential.
That said, even if the Twins have been linked to Arroyo and Garza, this offseason is not a sudden failure if they can't land another top-of-the-rotation pitcher. That leads us to Mike Pelfrey, who pitched here last season in his first year off of Tommy John surgery.
Most Twins fans are treating a possible two-year deal for Pelfrey as some sort of crime.
Listen: Pelfrey is only 29 years old. Pitchers generally get better the further removed they are from that major elbow surgery, and there were even signs last year that Pelfrey was improving as the year went along. Batters had an .837 OPS against him in the first half of the season; it was .731 in the second half. Before getting hurt, he threw at least 184 innings in four consecutive seasons. Two of those years were quite good -- ERA around 3.70 and at least 200 innings in both.
Bottom line: don't get caught up in 2013 Pelfrey when thinking about the Twins possibly re-signing him. As a mid-to-bottom of the rotation starter, he would be more than fine.