The Minnesota Twins made a signing today at the winter meetings.
The Minnesota Twins made their first big move of the winter meetings, though it really won’t play much into the 2018 season.
Minnesota Twins beat writer Rhett Bollinger reported on Wednesday morning that the Twins signed Michael Pineda to a 2-year deal that will total $10 million. Pineda is recovering from Tommy John surgery, so he won’t pitch until September 2018 at the very soonest, most likely not at all in 2018, so this is a deal for 2019.
This will be the second TJS for Pineda after having the surgery in 2012. He took his time coming back from that surgery and was excellent for the Yankees from 2014-2017, making 117 starts, throwing 680 innings, with a 4.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 157/687 BB/K ratio.
Pineda has always been a premium velocity guy, with an average fastball velocity around 94 MPH. He works with a mid-80s slider that draws plenty of swing and miss as well and is often considered his best pitch. Pineda also found a new grip on his change this season that allowed him to find much more success when his slider wasn’t working for him.
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It would not surprise at all if the Twins work with Pineda on his fastball usage, as he has a very effective sinker that would work well in Target Field.
Pineda’s proclivity to fly balls would be drastically helped in Target Field as well. The Twins excellent outfield defense would help to turn more of the fly balls Pineda gives up into outs. The more expansive outfield would also help to counter Pineda’s home run per fly ball rate (22.5% in 2017, which is tremendously high).
The contract will be divided between $2 million in 2018 as Pineda rehabs with the Twins and then $8 million in 2019. The Twins would also then have the ability to offer Pineda a qualifying offer and negotiate an extension with him.
Stay tuned to Puckett’s Pond for all your Minnesota Twins news during the winter meetings!