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The Twins Should Bring Michael Pineda Back for 2020

Michael Pineda ended the 2019 season on a sour note with Twins fans due to a PED suspension. Before that happened, he was leading a struggling rotation and that should not be forgotten. Pineda should be the fifth starter in the Twins 2020 rotation.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
The 2019 season was going extremely well for Pineda before he was suspended. In 26 games started he had a 4.01 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 8.63 K/9 and 1.73 BB/9, but he had an excellent stretch before the suspension that really intrigues me. From June 13 to September 6 he had a 2.96 ERA, 9.5 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and .234/.277/.373 (.650) line against him. If the Twins get that guy in their fifth rotation spot then they are in a great spot.

From everything I have heard, the Twins seem like a lock to get at least one free agent in the second tier of free agents (Wheeler, Ryu, Bumgarner, Hamels), and then sign or trade for another starter to fill the number three or four spot. That leaves one rotation spot open and I think Pineda is the perfect fit.

He is going to be finishing up his suspension for the first part of the season but that is fine. The Twins likely will want to get guys like Dobnak, Thorpe, and Smeltzer some starts this season and with Pineda serving suspension they will be able to make that happen. He will likely be looking for a one year "make good" deal for around $10-$12 million to hit free agency again next season with a clean slate. It seems like a good fit for both sides.

I’m not at all saying he should be their big name free agent signing, and if he headlines their offseason then it was likely a failed one. He would be a nice piece to cap off the offseason. A rotation of Berrios, Odorizzi, FA/trade, FA/trade, and then Pineda would be a very good rotation depending on the pitchers they pick up of course.

They will need to find someone to fill that fifth spot so why not bring someone everyone enjoys playing with and someone who already knows the organization well? They might decide to go the route of another Martin Perez type project, but I like Pineda to return for one more season.

Is Michael Pineda someone you would like to see come back to Minnesota? He certainly expressed his interest in returning during his interview after the suspension. He was loved by his teammates and there really isn’t any risk to bringing him back. What do you think will happen or what would you like to happen with Big Mike? Leave a comment and discuss below.

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49 Comments

 

I want Big Mike back.I don't care about the suspension.Those rules are obscure and archaic and outmoded.They are culturally bias'd and sporadically enforced.

Outside of that, there is nothing wrong with getting suspended by MLB.

Where have you gone, Barry Bonds, now that we need you?

 

:)

I want all the cheaters back and have them win championships because sportsmanship is no longer important

 

 

Are there ever contracts where the team is protected in the case of player misconduct like Pineda with his banned substance suspension? It would make sense for the Twins to bring him back on maybe a 2-year contract with protection for the team if he gets himself suspended again.

Players aren't paid during suspensions. 

 

What do you mean by protection? Like it voids the contract? 

 

I'm not sure protection would matter if the goal is win-loss records. A team might be protected financially, but when a player misses 1/3 or more of the season and the postseason, at least for fans, the loss is having a valuable player on the 26-man roster. The only protection against that is signing a player who won't miss time.

 

The Twins saved some money in 2019 when Pineda was suspended. They also started Dobnak in game 2 in NY because of it. I don't think there's any kind of contract clause that counters that affect. 

 

(That said, I'm not opposed to signing him -- I just question if a contract could cover the most important risk elements in this situation. The only insurance is a really good farm system that's ready to play at MLB when needed or can be traded for a replacement.)

 

Sure, fine.

Would you sign him back? What would your offer to him be?

Due to the overweight being an issue that he was trying to take the easy way out on and 3 years already lost due to injuries,Pneda is a year to year player.Base and bonus would be reasonable.5-10 base, 10 available bonus.

 

He is also 5th starter, not in talent but in terms of planing a rotation

    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this
Would love to have Big Mike come back, even if it is just on a one year make good deal. If he finishes the season like he did this year, you give him a QO.
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ScooterDance
Nov 29 2019 08:25 AM
If we bring back big mike and only sign one of the second tier FA SPs, and trade for a cost controlled SP (or plan on rolling with our young guys) that leaves a lot of money to go after a 3B/1B.

I like it.
    • wabene likes this

Yes, best pitcher the Twins had after the all-star game. So far they have made 2 good moves with the rotation. 1)a QO to Odorizzi and 2)letting Gibson go. Now make it 3 and resign BIG Mike. Then do #4 and #5 and get 2 more front line starters to join them. Surprise the fans, and go all in and sign Cole. There won't be an empty seat in Target Field all year if they make that kind of splash. If not, it'll be another woulda coulda shoulda season.

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Major League Ready
Nov 29 2019 09:24 AM

 

Yes, best pitcher the Twins had after the all-star game. So far they have made 2 good moves with the rotation. 1)a QO to Odorizzi and 2)letting Gibson go. Now make it 3 and resign BIG Mike. Then do #4 and #5 and get 2 more front line starters to join them. Surprise the fans, and go all in and sign Cole. There won't be an empty seat in Target Field all year if they make that kind of splash. If not, it'll be another woulda coulda shoulda season.

 

Winning fills the stands. There has been countless examples of teams with superstars that don't win and don't fill the stands. I recall similar statements being made about Cueto a few years ago, Darvish two years ago, and blanket statements about going all-in for the big RPs on the market last year. Blind faith has it's charms but I don't want our team run with it.

 

We should also ask if spending $35M+ on one player is the best way to build a winner outside of a top revenue market. Why haven't GMs of other mid or small revenue teams have ever made a similar signing with the exception of Arizona when they had just signed a billion dollar TV contract?

 

Are these big names FAs just not inclined in general to sign with a small/mid market team.

 

Have the dozens of GMs that have been in this position all incompetent?

 

Why doesn't it happen. Arizona got Greinke but that was a very abnormal set of circumstances. Washington signed Scherzer but their incremental revenue more than pays for Scherzer so while Washington is a closer comparison than the Yankees or Dodgers, their revenue has been substantially higher than the Twins or other teams below the twins in terms of revenue.

 

I would be quite happy with Wheeler and Pineda.

    • Dman and wabene like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Nov 29 2019 10:56 AM

Due to the overweight being an issue that he was trying to take the easy way out on and 3 years already lost due to injuries,Pneda is a year to year player.Base and bonus would be reasonable.5-10 base, 10 available bonus.
 
He is also 5th starter, not in talent but in terms of planing a rotation

I pretty much agree with you. My opinion is, because I do think he should be seen more like a fifth starter, that the Twins can wait as long as they need to before offering him that 1 year deal. Right before camp if necessary.
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 29 2019 11:11 AM

I'll be a bit surprised if Pineda signs anything other than a 1 year deal.... that's my 2 cents.

 

That said, I'll also be a bit surprised if we acquire 3 pitchers as well. I think at best we sign 2 pitchers, and if we sign Pineda, he's the second pitcher... I'm not against getting him, it's a cheap 1 year deal that allows us to get a little exposure for Graterol, Dobnak, and Smeltzer. Graterol won't be starting all year long anyways, so that's a way to get him to his 100-120 IP limit and do so in MLB.  

    • wabene likes this
There are not contracts that can be voided if there is a suspension..... Because a team could, theoretically do something to get a player suspended....
To me, Pineda is about as close as you can get to a no-brainer. Obviously we need a big addition such as the oft-mentioned and speculated Wheeler. While not impossible, it would be very difficult to target and sign 2 of the top FA targets. Not that they are unaffordable, but because other teams are competing for signatures as well.

I'd really like Pineda on a 2yr deal, but agreed he may only want 1. Regardless, if you have doubts about him as a 4th SP...not a 5th...look at his numbers last year and especially from June on as listed. Guy was getting better and better the farther away from his surgery. Not uncommon. He would be as good nor better than about anyone else you could bring in barring a large trade situation. And those are not always easy to make. This move costs $ only.

I wish he wouldn't be missing the first month of the season, but being focused on the season as a whole entity, I'd love to have him back.

OMGCan't anybody spot sarcasm any more ??:)

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Major League Ready
Nov 29 2019 03:16 PM

 

I pretty much agree with you. My opinion is, because I do think he should be seen more like a fifth starter, that the Twins can wait as long as they need to before offering him that 1 year deal. Right before camp if necessary.

 

IDK … There is always a demand for SPs but it seems like there is as much demand as ever this year. Given the way Pineda was pitching before the suspension, I would think there will be a fair amount of interest in him. MLB Rumors had him 17trh overall, two spots ahead of Gibson.They had Gibson predicted for 2/18 and of course he got 3/30. I just don’t see Pineda still looking for a job when spring training starts. 2/20 with a 3rd year option sounds pretty good to me.

    • Hosken Bombo Disco and wabene like this
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HuskerTwinsFan
Nov 29 2019 03:19 PM

A couple of thoughts that I haven't seen addressed:

1.I haven't seen any comments that imply that Big Mike doesn't have ability, especially with his performance prior to the suspension.Whether you consider him in the #2-#5 slots, he proved he can wing it effectively.

2.Pineda stated that he was trying to lose weight (he is an enormous man) and there was a comment that referred to his prior knee injury.Signing him early could possibly get him into a conditioning program under team supervision similar to Sano last year, who came to ST in much better shape.Leaving him on his own, unsigned, until near or during ST seems to be a significant disadvantage if the front office wants him.

3.Even while under suspension, I believe that he is still eligible for spring training (correct me if I'm wrong).If so, getting him in early to ST for conditioning purposes and to regain his pitching motion with coaching would seem to be important elements.

4.A comment mentioned that he can continue workouts in Ft. Meyers after ST, which could include pitching in intra-squad games, which benefits both his pitching and also batters eventually headed to minor league or short season teams.

All of that argues to me that a relatively early signing (of whatever amount, years or terms) would be a good call.

    • wabene likes this
Not sure about staying in Ft Myers, but I'm quite sure he can participate fully in ST. Once the suspension is over, I believe he gets 2 weeks of milb time to ramp up.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Nov 29 2019 07:43 PM

IDK … There is always a demand for SPs but it seems like there is as much demand as ever this year. Given the way Pineda was pitching before the suspension, I would think there will be a fair amount of interest in him. MLB Rumors had him 17trh overall, two spots ahead of Gibson.They had Gibson predicted for 2/18 and of course he got 3/30. I just don’t see Pineda still looking for a job when spring training starts. 2/20 with a 3rd year option sounds pretty good to me.

I think you are probably right, that Pineda will sign long before camp. I remain in agreement with the author and other posters that Pineda is a #5 for the Twins, and other competitive teams. I will make a prediction: Pineda’s eventual contract is less than Gibson’s, and also less than MLBtr’s 2/22 and maybe even less than your estimate too (though I think yours is not far off). I just think the Twins can aim higher.
I support bringing him back. Absolutely.

 

Winning fills the stands. There has been countless examples of teams with superstars that don't win and don't fill the stands. I recall similar statements being made about Cueto a few years ago, Darvish two years ago, and blanket statements about going all-in for the big RPs on the market last year. Blind faith has it's charms but I don't want our team run with it.

 

We should also ask if spending $35M+ on one player is the best way to build a winner outside of a top revenue market. Why haven't GMs of other mid or small revenue teams have ever made a similar signing with the exception of Arizona when they had just signed a billion dollar TV contract?

 

Are these big names FAs just not inclined in general to sign with a small/mid market team.

 

Have the dozens of GMs that have been in this position all incompetent?

 

Why doesn't it happen. Arizona got Greinke but that was a very abnormal set of circumstances. Washington signed Scherzer but their incremental revenue more than pays for Scherzer so while Washington is a closer comparison than the Yankees or Dodgers, their revenue has been substantially higher than the Twins or other teams below the twins in terms of revenue.

 

I would be quite happy with Wheeler and Pineda.

 

Always settling for 2nd best will not win you Championships. Sometimes you have to get the best to be the best. Right now Cole is the best. I'll start him against your Wheeler and he'll beat him more often than not. Yankees are going to go after Cole. If they get him and the Twins face 'em in the playoffs who you gonna put your money on? I'd rather have him pitching for me, not against me. Twins have the money. Don't kid yourself.  

 

A couple of thoughts that I haven't seen addressed:

2.Pineda stated that he was trying to lose weight (he is an enormous man) and there was a comment that referred to his prior knee injury.Signing him early could possibly get him into a conditioning program under team supervision similar to Sano last year, who came to ST in much better shape.Leaving him on his own, unsigned, until near or during ST seems to be a significant disadvantage if the front office wants him.

 

If a 30 year old man that has made millions (and has potential to increase his future earnings and performance) cannot get it together to lose weight on his own (or even hire his own dietitian/trainer) in the off season, then there is a problem. Actors do it all the time, both gain and lose. It is all about desire, discipline, and commitment. It may not be easy, but it is surely very possible, and done all the time.

    • Major League Ready likes this

 

Pineda was using a banned substance last year. I’m willing to believe that banned substance played a part in his success. Therefore, thanks but no thanks.

 

The substance he was caught using was a known masking agent. However, his suspension was reduced after it was found that he was indeed NOT using the substance to mask anything. This appears to be one of those cases where the guy just wasn't paying attention. I'd liken it to a player who got caught with THC in his system after taking some over-the-counter hemp supplements. Was it stupid? Yeah. Did it have any affect on his pitching? Nope.

    • Hosken Bombo Disco and wabene like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Nov 30 2019 10:28 AM

The substance he was caught using was a known masking agent. However, his suspension was reduced after it was found that he was indeed NOT using the substance to mask anything. This appears to be one of those cases where the guy just wasn't paying attention. I'd liken it to a player who got caught with THC in his system after taking some over-the-counter hemp supplements. Was it stupid? Yeah. Did it have any affect on his pitching? Nope.

You don’t believe it affected his pitching, and I do.

Here’s a guy, Pineda, on the wrong side of 30 (to borrow a phrase from the Gibson/Bumgarner discussions), could never stay healthy, then in 2019 arguably put up his best career year, while come to find he had a banned substance in his system.

If the calendar rolls around to January and February, and he looks in shape and hasn’t signed yet, and his agent calls, then I offer him a one year guaranteed deal, sure. Otherwise I just don’t spend much time thinking about him. By the way I’m glad to be in the minority on this. :)
    • bighat likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 30 2019 04:16 PM

Just a mod note, but no one is changing anyone's mind at this point in regards to whether or not Pineda was using PEDs or not realizing what he was taking in order to lose weight... This has been debated ad nauseum at this site since Pineda was suspended. 

 

So let's please drop that subject and get back on topic. 

 

Thanks.

    • stringer bell likes this

 

 

I think it would be great to have Pineada back.  I thought the qualifying offer was a bad idea for him was a bad idea and I’m glad the Twins felt the same.  1/10 would make sense to me but I don’t know anything about baseball.