3/5/2014 11:01 P.M. ET
Antony confirms Twins pursued O's Johan
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony confirmed the club made an offer to left-hander Johan Santana, who ultimately decided to sign with the Orioles on Tuesday.
Santana, who pitched for the Twins from 2000-07 and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2004 and '06, signed with Baltimore on a contract that will earn him a base salary of $3 million if he is on the Major League roster for Opening Day. Santana, who is coming off shoulder surgery, could also receive up to $5 million in performance bonuses.
Antony said the Twins had good conversations with Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg, but the Orioles simply made a better offer.
"We had conversations, but they had to make their decision on what they were looking for and what they wanted to do," Antony said. "We had some interest, and we expressed our interest and talked to him. He clearly got more money. I can tell you that much."
A reunion seemed to make sense for Santana, who is familiar with the Twins' coaching staff and lives in Fort Myers, but it did not pan out. Santana met with Baltimore reporters on Wednesday, and he said one of the main reasons he signed with the Orioles was because he wanted to pitch for a contender.
"It's unique when you're dealing with somebody who has accomplished a lot in the game like he has," Antony said. "But you just go with what you feel is comfortable and make an offer, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn't, it doesn't."
Antony added that the Twins viewed Santana as a starter but that he would not have been ready to pitch in the Majors until June. The Orioles had not decided on Wednesday whether Santana would be a starter or reliever this season.
"We viewed him as a guy who was going to spend a month getting in shape, treating April as a Spring Training, using May to pitch in some Minor League games and hopefully by June he'd be ready to pitch in the big leagues," Antony said. "We looked at him as a starter in a role he's comfortable in and has always done. So that's what we laid out to him."
Pleased with tempo, Pelfrey seeks strikes
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mike Pelfrey couldn't get through the third inning of an 11-5 loss against the Orioles on Wednesday, and he came away dissatisfied with his pitch location.
Pelfrey, who threw two scoreless innings Friday against the Red Sox in his first outing, gave up two runs on three hits over 2 1/3 innings against the Orioles. He threw 47 pitches, with 31 going for strikes, lamenting the lack of quality strikes thrown.
"I was kind of all over the place," Pelfrey said. "But it's still early. And physically, I felt good."
Pelfrey, though, said he was continuing to work on his tempo while on the mound and that he believed it would be much better than last season.
He got through the first two innings Wednesday with relative ease but struggled in the third, getting chased on a one-out RBI double from Quintin Berry, who later scored on an RBI single from Xavier Paul with reliever Jared Burton on the mound.
"I thought it was better," Pelfrey said about his pace. "I'm conscious of it, just not wanting to walk around the mound and stuff. I'm conscious of it, and I'm trying to be better. But the biggest thing tonight was I didn't throw enough strikes."
Pelfrey fared better than left-hander Scott Diamond, who was hurt by a throwing error from Jorge Polanco in the sixth inning, and ended up giving up five runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over two innings. Diamond is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation along with Vance Worley, Samuel Deduno and Kyle Gibson.
Twins say Guerrier progressing as planned
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Matt Guerrier threw his first live bullpen session on Tuesday without any issues, and he remains on track to make his Grapefruit League debut on Tuesday against the Rays.
Guerrier, who had surgery in mid-August to repair the flexor mass in his right elbow, is scheduled to throw another live bullpen session Friday.
"He's throwing all his pitches now, so he's getting close," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He's probably a bullpen or two away from getting in a game next week. I think he should be on schedule. Every report has been positive for him. No issues. No soreness."
Antony added that Guerrier, who is a non-roster invitee as a Minor League signing, should still have ample time to get ready for the regular season. The Twins open the season against the White Sox in Chicago on March 31.
"If he starts in on the 11th, he'll have 17 or 18 days," Antony said. "It'll probably be a lot like [Anthony] Swarzak last year, who came in with a rib injury but still had plenty of time to get ready. So he should have plenty of opportunity to get in games."
• Shortstop Pedro Florimon, who had his appendix removed on Feb. 17, took grounders with his teammates on Wednesday without any issues, Antony said. But there was still no timetable for Florimon's return, and he could still begin the season on the 15-day disabled list.
• Antony said he planned to meet with manager Ron Gardenhire soon to make decisions about the first round of roster cuts. Antony would not say when that first round would come, but it was expected to be Monday or Tuesday.
"I'll meet with Gardy here the next few days and exchange some thoughts and some ideas and start figuring out when and who and what we want to do," Antony said. "It's just the guys who make sense."