The Twins made their first big move of the offseason this morning by signing 28-year-old, starting pitcher, Michael Pineda to a 2-year, $10 million deal, with possible incentives that could add an additional $3 million to his contract.
This is an interesting move for the Twins, as Pineda is coming off Tommy John surgery this summer, and he will most likely not be available for the Twins in 2018. This will cause some reservations among Twins fans, but it is exactly the kind of low-risk, high-reward move that could pay off if Pineda is able to pitch to his abilities in 2019.
Pineda is a guy that many people around Major League Baseball have been waiting to break out into the front of the rotation star that he has the talent to be. His stuff is electric, but his performance hasn’t shown this with his career 4.05 ERA over parts of 5 seasons with the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees. However, Pineda’s underlying numbers show that his has been a much better pitcher than his ERA would suggest. Pineda has a career 9.09 K/9 and 2.08 BB/9, both of which would easily be the best of any pitcher currently in the Twins rotation. Add in his 44.2% ground-ball rate, would be second behind only Kyle Gibson, and you have a pretty effective pitcher on your hands. In his last 3 seasons with the Yankees, Pineda’s biggest problems have come from giving up far too many home runs, though some of that could easily be attributed to pitching in Yankee Stadium.
Only time will tell if this will be a good move for the Twins. The good news is this team’s window appears to be open for a while, so we will have time to wait and see if it pays off.