We awoke this morning to news that the Twins signed former Yankees starter Michael Pineda to a two-year, $10 million dollar contract. In case you were wondering, “Hey, didn’t Pineda just get Tommy John surgery last July?” — yes, he did. The move essentially adds pitching depth to the roster for the 2019 season, though he could return and pitch later in 2018. Because of that, the deal is set to pay him $2 million in 2018 and $8 million in 2019 when he will actually be able to pitch.
According to the Pioneer Press, the contract also includes a potential of $3 million is added bonuses, $2.5 million of which are available in 2019.
Pineda is a hard throwing righty with a fastball-slider-changeup mix that he uses effectively to limit walks and garner strikeouts. He has a career K/9 of 9.09 and a career BB/9 of 2.08. While his ERA as a Yankee does leave much to be desired, he does have a career 3.33 xFIP according to Fangraphs.
The move is a savvy way for the Twins to add a power pitcher for 2019, and very similarly matches the deal the Cubs signed Drew Smyly to last night. Even if Pineda has a limited inning count in 2019 (or is used as a power arm out of the pen), the deal is a cheap way of adding solid depth for the Twins.