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AP Source: Twins, Michael Pineda agree to 2-year, $20M deal

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Michael Pineda throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Michael Pineda throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
By Dave Campbell Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Twins and starting pitcher Michael Pineda agreed Thursday to a two-year, $20 million contract to bring the right-hander back after a suspension for a banned diuretic, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, because the deal, pending completion of a physical exam, had not been finalized.

Pineda went 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 26 starts for the Twins in 2019, before Major League Baseball announced Sept. 7 a 60-game suspension for a positive test for Hydrochlorothiazide, which can be used for weight loss and blood pressure management. It’s outlawed because it can mask the presence of steroids.

That kept Pineda out of the postseason for the American League Central champion Twins, who were swept in three games in the division series by the New York Yankees. Pineda, who will turn 31 next month, will have a significant chunk of the suspension left to serve before he can take the mound for the Twins.

Pineda was one of four starters in Minnesota’s rotation who became free agents this fall. The Twins re-signed Jake Odorizzi to supplement fellow All-Star Jose Berrios, but there is still a spot or two to likely be filled on the market this winter.

AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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