So the Twins just gave $10 million guaranteed over the next two seasons to Michael Pineda, a pitcher who has a long injury history and underwent Tommy John surgery in July, meaning he wouldn't pitch much — if at all — in the first year of his two-year contract. And I'm here to say that the Twins look … smart? Yes. Bear with me. There are a number of factors, but the big one is this:
The Twins' greatest postseason downfall from 2002-present has been a lack of lights-out starting pitchers. Like the Twins' pursuit of Chris Archer via trade and/or Yu Darvish in free agency — both of whom should still be in play, since this Pineda deal is more aimed at 2019 — this move is about adding upper-echelon arm talent. Imagine a Twins rotation in 2019 that includes Archer or Darvish, Pineda and Jose Berrios. Those are guys who can generate the swings and misses needed to succeed in the postseason.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.