Rather than test the market, Joel Pineiro has come to a two-year agreement with the Cardinals. I’d mentioned earlier that I thought he was in line for a Jason Marquis 3/21 type deal. According to Ken Rosenthal, it’s a two-year, $13MM pact. This seems like a solid move by John Mozeliak. That’s the going rate or even a mild discount for a fourth starter, and Pineiro could be decent.
The Cards now have Adam Wainwright, Braden Looper, and Pineiro locked into the ’08 rotation. According to Joe Strauss (linked above), the goal remains to acquire a "front-line" starter. The Cards seemingly have about $20MM to spend this winter, and $5MM or so of that will go to Pineiro (depending on backloading). Can a front-line starter and a power-hitter/shortstop be had for roughly $15MM total?
It can be done – Edgar Renteria makes a little more than $6MM, leaving maybe $9-11MM to spend on the starter. Jon Garland and A.J. Burnett each make $12MM, Dontrelle Willis would be more affordable. Guys like Joe Blanton and Noah Lowry are supercheap. It just depends on how extensively the Cardinals want to mortgage their future to make a 2008 push. They’ll either do it by trading good young players or by giving out at least one ill-advised long-term contract.