Detroit Tigers sign RHP Michael Pineda to a one-year-deal

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Tigers get their backend rotation all taken care by signing veteran Michael Pineda to a one-year-deal.

The names left on the free agent market were dwindling for the Detroit Tigers to choose after losing out to Zack Greinke after Al Avila discussed during his press conference to the media yesterday. But, the Tigers pressed on and signed veteran right-hander Michael Pineda to a one-year-deal for $5 million dollars, as reported by Evan Petzold of

Detroit adds a veteran starter who is familiar to fans as he was pitching for the Twins for the last three seasons. He has a career 3.98 ERA over eight seasons.

Who is “Big Mike”?

Michael Pineda started his career in Seattle, where he was named to the All-Star team in 2011 and finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year vote. He throws three pitches, a fastball, slider and changeup, with his slider being his best pitch. At one point in his career, he threw a cutter and a sinker in his repertoire.

His slider generated a 37.7% whiff rate and batters hit just .199 against it in 2021. He can locate his pitches as he doesn’t walk anyone, with a walk rate in the 96th percentile in the league last season. That slider allowed him to have an impressive chase rate in the 96th percentile. He was in the Top 5 in O-Swing% at 36%. O-Swing is the number of hitters who chase out of the strike zone.

That comes with a caveat, however, as he had a hard hit rate of 46%, the highest of his career. He took a couple of trips to the IL last season with right elbow inflammation and then an oblique strain. However, if he can give the Tigers at least 110-120 innings of work, that would be a big boost to the rotation with prospects like Beau Brieske and Garrett Hill waiting in the wings.