The case to bring Pineda back
When the Twins first signed Pineda in the winter of 2017, nobody knew what to think of the first free agent move under the Derek Falvey and Thad Levine regime. On the surface, it appeared to be a typical Twins move, looking at the bottom of the barrel and paying a small price to acquire a pitcher that was just coming off of Tommy John surgery.
With the two-year deal, Pineda was going to be a project and after sitting out for most of the 2018 season, he took the mound in 2019 and rebounded after a tough April. Since May, Pineda has been the best pitcher in the Twins rotation despite a couple of trips to the injured list throwing 117 innings with a 9-3 record and 3.46 ERA.
Those numbers were what fueled speculation that Pineda could be the Game 1 starter for the Twins and should at least start the conversation about bringing him back. Coming into 2020, the only Minnesota starter on the roster is Jose Berrios and with Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez all ready to hit the market, the Twins can’t replace all of them with top dollar pitchers.
In a roundabout way, Pineda’s recent misfortune may help the Twins bring him back as other teams aware of his history may not be willing to give him the bigger deal he could have demanded on the market. Then again, that risk may be too much.