Thursday, December 14, 2017

Adding Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda's season ended in July.

The Twins on Wednesday signed free agent pitcher Michael Pineda to a two-year deal. They realistically expect something out of that contract in the second year.

Pineda had Tommy John surgery last summer. Most of 2018 will be spent rehabbing the rebuilt elbow. He'll spend the winter on the 40-man roster, open the season on the disabled list and will certainly be moved to the 60-day DL (and off the 40-man roster) as soon as the Twins need a 40-man spot next season.

As matters stand, the Twins have Jose Berrios set for the 2019 rotation. Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson will be eligible for free agency after 2018; Trevor May and Phil Hughes, like Pineda, are rehab projects; and prospects Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero, Felix Jose and Aaron Slegers have not established themselves in the majors.

The Twins obviously want to add a big-name starter this winter; the openness with which Thad Levine in particular talks about Yu Darvish is certainly a change from the close-to-the-vest approach of Terry Ryan. Pineda, even without the surgery, is not a big-name starter, although he has some impressive secondary numbers and (when sound) the tools to become a big-name starter.

What he is right now is inventory for 2019.

1 comment:

  1. While I have no problem with the signing or Pineda, one way to look at this is that Pineda is occupying the roster spot that could of gone to Nick Burdi. Since Burdi was lost in the Rule 5 draft, you could think of this situation as which would you rather have; 6 years of control of Burdi or probably a little over a season of Pineda pitching for you. Clearly the big question is if both or either will fully recover from tj surgery.

    If the Twins get a full year of Pineda pitching effectively as a starter in 2019, that has quite a lot of value. On the other hand if Burdi recovers from tj surgery and becomes a shutdown reliever beginning in 2019 and is able to maintain that for a least a few years, that would have a lot of value as well.