Former Yankees starter Michael Pineda headed to Minnesota

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Michael Pineda
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Michael Pineda /

Former Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda, agreed to a two-year deal on Wednesday with the Minnesota Twins.

Free agent and former Yankees right-handed starting pitcher Michael Pineda, agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. Pineda will make $2 million in 2018 and $8 million in 2019.

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.

At the time, Montero was considered a can’t miss prospect, but his production since that trade have shown otherwise. Steroid suspensions and weight issues attributed to the Mariners releasing him after the 2015 season.

Montero has not been back in Major League Baseball since. He bounced around the Blue Jays’ and Orioles’ systems, ultimately landing in the Mexican Baseball League.

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Despite his massive demeanor, “Big Mike” was overshadowed by some of the other pitchers on the Yanks’ staff. Posting a career 4.16 ERA as a Yankee, his 31-31 record gives little indication of his overall value. Especially since those 31 wins can mostly be attributed to some big bats and a high-powered offense, not Pineda’s lights-out stuff.

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.

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.

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Pineda joins an emerging Twins team, making the playoffs in 2017 after a 100-loss season the year before. Led by Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios, Pineda is expected to miss much of next season, though when he does return, it’s possible manager Paul Molitor slots Pineda in the backend of the rotation.