Minnesota Twins: Michael Pineda returns as Twins’ pitching makeover looks awfully familiar
By Chris Schad
The Minnesota Twins made another addition to their starting rotation on Thursday night, re-signing the right-hander to a two-year deal.
The Minnesota Twins went into this offseason looking to overhaul their starting rotation, but so far, it looks a lot like the one the Twins went into the 2019 season with. After retaining Jake Odorizzi last month, the Twins retained another member of their staff by re-signing Michael Pineda to a two-year deal on Thursday night.
FOX 9 Minneapolis’ Pierre Noujaim was the first to report the news while Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports that Pineda’s contract will be worth $20 million pending a physical.
Pineda was an example of when a low-risk gamble turns out right as the Twins signed him prior to the 2018 season as he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. After sitting out for a majority of 2018, Pineda returned as a wild card in 2019 and after a rough April, it was looking like another Twins bargain bin signing gone wrong.
But the light bulb turned on for Pineda after the calendar turned to May, posting a 9-3 record and 3.46 ERA over his final 20 starts. Just as Pineda was pitching so well, he was in the mix to be the Twins Game 1 starter in the ALDS, he was hit with a 60-game suspension for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
The suspension wasn’t enough to deter the Twins to bring him back, but the one concern for Twins fans is that their rotation makeover is resulting in a more expensive version of the previous one. Odorizzi got a hefty raise after accepting his one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer and Pineda nearly doubled his salary despite still having roughly six weeks remaining on his suspension.
Along with Jose Berrios, the Twins have now brought back three of their five pitchers from last year’s rotation that faltered down the stretch. The good news is that the Twins are in the mix to acquire Madison Bumgarner, but he has plenty of suitors after Zack Wheeler opted to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies.
That being said, the Twins might have the same issues by bringing back the same pitchers to fill their rotation. Fortunately, there’s still time to make a major addition, but for now, it’s business as usual for the Twins.