September 22, 2021

Michael Pineda, Twins reach agreement on $20M, 2-year deal (ESPN)

Right-hander Michael Pineda is returning to the Minnesota Twins, as the sides have reached an agreement on a two-year, $20 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

FOX 9 of Minneapolis was first to report on the agreement.

Pineda will begin the 2020 season serving the remainder of a 60-game suspension that began in early September. He originally was given an 80-game ban after testing positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, which can mask other substances, but the penalty was reduced to 60 upon appeal.

The 6-foot-7, 280-pound right-hander has about five weeks of the suspension left to serve, which means he’ll be available for only five months of the coming season. Pineda apologized to the Twins following the ban for his “error in judgment,” saying he was given an over-the-counter medication by an acquaintance to help manage his weight.

The suspension was a big blow to the rotation for the AL Central champion Twins. One of the team’s steadiest starters, Pineda likely would have been near the top of the team’s playoff rotation. Instead, the Twins were swept by the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series.

Pineda’s presence in the rotation was one of the most…

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