Former Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda is headed to the Minnesota Twins. The Twins signed the right-hander recovering from Tommy John surgery to a two-year, $10 million contract Wednesday.
Pineda’s Yankees’ career was filled mainly with disappointment. Then mega-prospect, Jesus Montero was dealt to Seattle for Pineda in 2012. After a mediocre rookie year in 2011, Pineda didn’t pitch in the major leagues for three years due to a variety of injuries.
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A shoulder injury kept Pineda out of the majors for 2012 and 2013, finally making his debut for the Yankees in 2014. Injuries would strike Pineda again, this time to his elbow. In July of 2017, it was discovered Pineda had a tear in his UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery. He likely will not be available for the 2018 season as he continues his rehab but would be ready for spring 2019.
Over his five seasons in the big leagues, Pineda has compiled a record of 40-41 with a 4.05 ERA. He has recorded 687 strikeouts in 680 career innings pitched, while walking 157. Of his 117 career starts, he has tossed only one complete game.
The 6-foot-7, 260-pound Pineda was originally signed as a free agent by Seattle in December 2005. He was named to the American League All-Star team in his rookie season with the Mariners in 2011 and was acquired by the Yankees via trade in January 2012.
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.