Detroit Tigers add Michael Pineda to the back of their rotation

(Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year contract with veteran starting pitcher Michael Pineda. It’s a low-risk, one-year deal worth $5.5 million that carries some incentives that could help him earn up to $8 million overall.

The Detroit Tigers get a veteran starting pitcher at a reasonable price and can try and get some more out of the back of their rotation. It was a spot that was in dire need of being addressed unless left-hander Tyler Alexander was going to step up into a full-time starter role.

In all reality, the Tigers just need an arm to get them through the 2022 season until Spencer Turnbull is healthy again and able to get back to the mound for the team once again. Though this move likely means the Tigers are out on the Athletics’ two starting pitchers who are being shopped.

It also makes a deal for Luis Castillo appear to be off the table as well. They opted to keep things cheap and grab 33-year-old Pineda to provide stability in the team’s fifth starter spot. Though, he may not be the most stable arm in the world.

Detroit Tigers add Michael Pineda on a one-year deal.

Pineda has bounced around and has spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Twins organization. He’s coming off of a 2021 season where he made 21 starts, pitching to a 9-8 record where he had a 3.62 ERA a 1.24 WHIP over his 109.1 innings of work.

He has not been someone who goes out and shoves for seven innings, collecting ten punchies along the way. However, he’s good at getting groundball outs, forcing weak contact, and pitching to let the defense do their job.

The Tigers will hope that they can ride him for some back end of the rotation starts, likely using Alexander as a spot-starter and skipping over Pineda. It’s a great idea to get Alexander back into the bullpen where he can bring the most value to the team being used in long relief or in matchup situations.

For the Tigers, it was a cheap way for them to add to the back of the rotation and avoid shelling out a lot of money for someone who likely will only be needed for the 2022 season until Turnbull can return and get back to where he was on the mound.

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Pineda will report to camp and likely start getting his work in to be the team’s number five starter, allowing Matt Manning to stay in the rotation and hopefully start working on his development as a big-league starter.