Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Rumors: Michael Pineda

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are searching for starting pitching.  Now with Tyler Glasnow heading to the disabled list and possibly Chad Kuhl, it seems all but certain the Bucs will look to add another starter.  Michael Pineda  on the Yankees could be a target.

A writer by the name of Randy Miller, who writes for www.nj.com, wrote an article talking about Michael Pineda’s trade value.  In the article he was using a National League scout opinion on Pineda.  The scout mentions that the Pittsburgh Pirates could be interested in Pineda.

The scout explains that the Pittsburgh Pirates dealing for Michael Pineda would be similar transaction to when the Pirates signed Edison Volquez and Francisco Liriano.  The fact is that he once showed promise of being a top of the rotation arm in this league, but has scuffled over the last few seasons.

Pineda definitely has upside, and he would represent exactly what the scout suggests, a classic Pittsburgh Pirates reclamation deal.  Pineda started off his career with the Seattle Mariners.  He pitched very well as a rookie starting 28 games, posting a 3.74 earned run average, and striking out 173 batters in 171 innings.  Yes, not overall dominant numbers, but he was doing it as a rookie throwing a 95 miles per hour fastball and a nasty slider.  The tools seemed to be all there in terms of his pitching, but he also has great size at 6’7”.  Seattle looked like they had a future compliment to Felix Hernandez.  

More from Rum Bunter

However, during the next off-season Seattle decided they needed to add a young power bat and therefore traded Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero in a multi-player deal.  Unfortunately Pineda would suffer a torn labrum and would not start a game for the Yankees until mid-way through the 2013 season.  He ended up pitching in the minors the rest of 2013.  He made 13 starts in 2014 and posted an outstanding 1.89 earned run average.  However, he has not had that kind of success since.

Over the last two years Pineda has really struggled for the Yankees. His earned run average is close to five and he physically seems out of shape.  Two things that are never good for a pitcher, sound like another Yankee arm?  With that his FIP does suggest that his numbers should be better over the last two years as it is at 3.65.  This is a number that could intrigue the Pittsburgh Pirates front office.  Everyone who follows baseball knows that the AL East and especially Yankee stadium is not pitcher friendly.  Moving him to a pitcher friendly park in Pittsburgh could help get his earned run average closer to that 3.6 number.  Not to mention pairing his size and pitches with the Pirates success at revitalizing pitchers of his mold could be good for all sides.

Related Story: Other starts the Pirates have scouted

Is Michael Pineda my first choice to acquire? No.  However, I could see why the Pittsburgh Pirates may have interest in him, and why he could actually work out for the Bucs.  Pineda would not cost much in terms of what the Pirates would have to give up to acquire him.  He is a struggling pitcher who has not been very good since 2014.  With that the 27 year-old still has control through next year as well, so he would not be rental.  Pineda is an intriguing pitcher who most likely will be dealt this trade deadline. If the Pirates cannot obtain the better talent available, Pineda would be an interesting fall back option to consider.

Article from Randy Miller at nj.com on Pineda