LAKELAND, Fla. – Pitcher Michael Pineda and the Detroit Tigers reached a one-year deal Saturday, the latest move by a team that’s been active before and after the 99-day lockout.
Pineda was 9-8 with a 3.62 ERA for Minnesota last season. The 33-year-old right-hander went 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA in his final five games, leading the majors in wins during September.
The Tigers were 77-85 last season under new manager A.J. Hinch, and played over .500 after May 7. It was a big improvement after four straight years with winning percentages under .400.
Once the season ended, the Tigers got busy.
Before the Major League Baseball lockout began, Detroit signed a pair of coveted free agents, star shortstop Javier Báez and lefty starter Eduardo Rodríguez, to long-term contracts and traded for catcher Tucker Barnhart from Cincinnati.
Earlier this week, with spring camps open after a labor deal between players and owners, lefty Andrew Chafin and the Tigers finalized a $13 million, two-year contract, giving Detroit one of the top free agent relievers. The 31-year-old had a combined 1.83 ERA with five saves in 71 games for the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics.
Pineda is 62-54 with a 3.98 ERA in eight seasons with Seattle, the New York Yankees and the Twins. He was an AL All-Star as a rookie in 2011 with the Mariners.
Pineda is known for his good control and last year threw 69% of his pitches for strikes, the fourth-best rate in the majors among those with at least 100 innings.
The Tigers' rotation is expected to include a mix of Pineda, Rodriguez, Casey Mize, Matt Manning and left-handers Tarik Skuba and Tyler Alexander