New York Yankees: Is Michael Pineda worth keeping in 2018?

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 30: Michael Pineda
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 30: Michael Pineda /
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NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: Chase Headley
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: Chase Headley /

The Good

There aren’t many 28-year-old pitchers that possess more untapped potential than Pineda. He caught many people’s eyes while playing for the Mariners, which is why the Yankees gave up a supposed All-Star for him.

Clearly, the starting pitcher hasn’t proven himself just yet, or else re-signing him would be a no-brainer. But some of his past performances may convince the front office to pursue a new contract this offseason.

Pineda was stellar his first year in the league. His strikeout rate was above-average, but his command was still a work in progress. Home runs weren’t an issue, and he compiled more than 170 innings that year.

When he finally returned to the mound in 2014, he was even more dominant in his shortened season. In 76 1/3 innings, he yielded just 16 runs and racked up 59 strikeouts. His WHIP was a minuscule .825. It seemed that he would be the future of the Yankees organization, at least in the pitching department.

Throughout the previous three seasons, he’s still showcased that promise on the bump.

In 2015, the fireballer accumulated an insane 16 strikeouts in just seven innings of work against the Orioles on May 10. He notched at least seven whiffs in exactly half of his starts last season. Yet his best overall performance might have been from this season when he flirted with a perfect game after six innings in just his second start of the year.

When he’s on the mound, he has some of the most powerful stuff. And he perplexes opposing hitters often, boasting a K/9 rate of at least 8.5 in all but one season – surprisingly 2014.

Possibly the biggest advantage the Yankees have over Pineda right now relates to the price of his contract. Coming off a season-ending injury, the right-hander may be willing to take a pay cut, especially for a contending team.

Yet, that’s if the organization still wants him by the start of Spring Training.