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 had not been announced and was subject to a successful physical exam.

Pineda went 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 146 innings over 26 starts for the Twins in 2019, his first season with the team, 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 39 games left on the suspension to serve before he can take the mound for the Twins in mid-May.

Pineda, who is 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, missed half of the 2017 season while with the New York Yankees and the entire 2018 season after signing with the Twins following Tommy John elbow surgery.

He said he took an over-the-counter medication given to him by an acquaintance, not realizing the pills contained the banned substance. He apologized then to the organization, his teammates, his family and Twins fans for his judgmental error and said he did not intend to cheat.


“The last two years I’ve had two surgeries, so that made me gain some weight,” Pineda said. “I was just trying to find a way to control that so it doesn’t hurt my knees.”

The suspension originally was for 80 games, but the MLB Players’ Association contested it.

The Twins gave Pineda a two-year, $10 million contract before the 2018 season at a discounted rate for the injury. The investment paid off in 2019, as Pineda became one of their most reliable starters down the stretch as he began to shake the rust off after the long absence from game action. He went 10-4 with a 2.96 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 82 innings in his last 14 starts until the suspension.

• The Minnesota Twins announced they will make further extensions to safety netting at Target Field next season, the third such enhancement they’ve made in five years.

GIANTS: Left-hander Tyler Anderson has a $1,775,000 salary as part of his contract with the San Francisco Giants and would earn $2,625,000 if he is healthy for most of the season and pitches 130 or more innings.

ROYALS: Manager Mike Matheny is keeping most of the coaching staff that worked alongside predecessor Ned Yost as he begins to plan for his first season in charge of the organization.


Matheny announced that Terry Bradshaw would return as hitting coach and Cal Eldred would be back as the pitching coach. Pedro Grifol will move from working with catchers to the bench coach, Rusty Kuntz will return to his old role as first-base coach and Vance Wilson will move from bullpen coach to third base coach.

Larry Carter will move into the bullpen role after spending 23 years working with Royals minor league players. John Mabry will join the club as a big league coach after working with Matheny with the Cardinals. Rafael Belliard is also joining the club in Kuntz’s former role as special assignment coach.

Mike Jirschele and Dale Sveum, who were both part of the coaching staff in 2019, will remain with the organization and their assignments will be announced at a later date.

TRADES: Outfielder Jake Marisnick was acquired by the New York Mets from the Houston Astros for two prospects — left-hander Blake Taylor and outfielder Kenedy Corona.

•  The Milwaukee Brewers acquired catcher Omar Narvaez from the Seattle Mariners for minor league pitcher Adam Hill and a compensation round pick in next June’s amateur draft.

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