When he was on the mound, Michael Pineda was as dominant as nearly any pitcher in baseball last season. His 1.89 ERA was twice as good as the MLB average, and he boasted sterling peripherals as well: 8:1 K:BB, 0.83 baserunners per inning, and only 0.6 HR/9.
As dominant as his 2014 performance was, it was marred by a series of issues. He was ejected from an April start against the Red Sox for taking the mound with an egregious amount of pine tar smeared on his neck. His subsequent suspension was elongated by a DL stint that kept him off the mound until August. When he returned, he became an undisputed ace. Even in his three losses in the second half, he allowed a total of three earned runs in 18.1 innings of work. If the Yankees are going to contend in 2015, it will because Pineda holds his second half form and stays healthy.
Off topic, but notable all the same: this contract is another win in a long line of correct predictions for MLB Trade Rumors' arbitration algorithm, which predicted $2.1M exactly. At what point does the existence of the page begin to influence the outcomes? How many agents and GMs sit down together to negotiate, agree that no one wants to go to arbitration and say, "That sounds fair to us, how does it sound to you?" Obviously, they've got to get it close to right in the first place, because if one side or the other was sure they could win, they'd fight it out.
Cross one more step off the Yankees' offseason to do list. Spring training can't start soon enough.