Mariners Free Agency: Options for a one-year Starting Pitcher
Mariners Target #4: Michael Pineda
The number one question with Michael Pineda is “hey, what’s that on your arm?” Oops. Sorry.
Okay, the real number one question with Pineda is “are you sure that the guy can stay healthy?” He threw 171 innings as a rookie with the Mariners back in 2011, made the All-Star game, and finished 5th in ROY voting. Since then, he has been injured a handful of times, and you just can’t be sure what you are going to get out of him.
However, when he is out there, he has been pretty good and consistent as well. Did you know he’s actually a career 3.98 ERA (3.69 FIP) pitcher? He’s got 8.8 K/9, a number that has been trending down lately, but a full and healthy offseason could see it return to the mid-high 8s.
Last year, Pineda made 21 starts in 22 games and threw 109.1 innings with a 1.235 WHIP. Since coming back from Tommy John in 2018, he’s made 52 starts (53 games), thrown 282 innings, with a ERA of 3.80, a FIP of 3.93, and a WHIP of 1.191.
You know what? I kind of want to see what he would do in Seattle. If the Mariners could sign him to a 1 year for $6/7 million, maybe 2-10, then I would be okay with it. If you can get a 1.0 WAR from him each year, it’s definitely worth it. In just those 109 innings last year, he was a 1.5 WAR. If, and it’s a big if, he stays healthy in 2022, you could be looking at a steal for a pitcher who could give you 170 innings and a 3.0 WAR.