Yankees better not get tricked into trading for old friend on Twins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 24: Michael Pineda #35 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 24, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 24: Michael Pineda #35 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 24, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins are going in different directions in the AL Central in the same way a speeding train heading down a steep hill is going a bit faster than a dying ant drawing its last breaths walking up it.

Safe to say, sporting just about the worst record in Major League Baseball, the Twins will be forced to be sellers in a way they never would’ve anticipated on April 1.

The Yankees, in desperate need of outfielders and constantly looking for reinforcements to their pitching staff, should be in touch as May turns to June.

They cannot, however, allow themselves to get fooled into taking a chance on a discounted former member of their team.

The Yankees’ search for an outfielder probably has to begin immediately (and Ryan LaMarre’s hamstring injury only complicates things further).

They can probably wait a bit to find pitching help, though, which is good! That gives this Joel Sherman take on eyeing Michael Pineda and JA Happ more time to dissolve into the ether. Let’s forget about that idea before it even materializes.

The Yankees cannot get fooled and trade for Michael Pineda. Or JA Happ?! Come on.

Pineda, sure. Bad idea, and we can firmly pass. But Happ? Happ?! Bad in New York and has a long-standing frosty relationship with a front office that stole a bonus check from him last summer? Yeah, no. He’d make the 76ers Process look like the Showtime Lakers.

In case you’re wondering about Pineda, though, we must warn you that he’s actually having quite a good year, despite recently hitting the IL after getting a leg abscess surgically removed.

In seven starts, he’s sported a 2.79 ERA, whiffing 39 men in 38.2 innings pitched. His WHIP of 1.01 is his best since his seven-start debut stint in pinstripes in 2014. There’s a lot to like there! Which is, to say, please do not stare at these numbers too long. Otherwise you might talk yourself into this being a wise investment.

Pineda has been reborn a bit in the Twin Cities, sure, but the Yankees have enough data on him in their uniform to know he surrendered far more hard contact than anyone wanted, mixing in solid outings with complete implosions on a 50-50 basis.

Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli seems supremely confident in handing Pineda the ball every day, whenever his return comes after surgery. He should continue doing that.

Again, do not get fooled. There are plenty of worthwhile Twins to inquire about. Taylor Rogers out of the bullpen? Mitch Garver behind the plate? Jose Berrios if you see the fences and want to swing for them? Even FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray’s favorite Byron Buxton? Sure.

But Pineda and HAPP? Don’t. Do not.