Today, the Minnesota Twins announced that they have agreed on a two-year deal with Michael Pineda. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports that Pineda can make an additional $3MM in incentives on top of the $10MM guaranteed he will receive in this deal (splits into consecutive $2MM and $8MM salaries).
Pineda’s deal is like Drew Smyly’s new pact, who signed with the Chicago Cubs yesterday.
Now, he is receiving a small deal, because he went under the knife in mid-July of 2017. The 28-year old (turns 29 in January) will miss a big chunk of the 2018 MLB season, but could be a vital piece for the Twins in the late run.
Honestly, Pineda might be better off as a reliever due to his injury history and the way baseball is changing with the way relievers are used. He has a flaming fastball and a good slider with a decent changeup.
In addition, his slider is his best secondary offering and an interesting one since it produces a very high number of groundballs unlike other compared pitchers. Pineda’s slider has a primarily 12-6 movement and has some two-plane movement.
Furthermore, the former all-star has received glowing praise for his FIP (Fielding-Independent Pitching), but one area that still haunts the Dominican Republic native is the number of homers he gives up. Yankee Stadium has not helped him out one bit, as his home run rate has risen in his time as a Yankee.
Overall, the hard throwing righty has been a fair pitcher with his ups and downs, but on a 162-game average, he records a 12-12 record with a low four era (4.05) in 34 games (all starts), plus he would punch out an even 200 hitters in 198 innings.
Lastly, before Pineda had the injury, he was having a satisfying 2017 campaign despite only pitching in 17 games (96.1 innings) and racking up 92 strikeouts (8.6 K/9) on an 8-4 record. He worked himself to a 4.39 ERA, which was an improvement over his 2016 era (4.82).
Note: Michael Pineda owned the highest strikeouts per nine innings in the 2016 season with a 10.6 K/9.