Cardinals interim GM John Mozeliak has already exercised Jason Isringhausen’s option and re-signed Russ Springer. Next up: hammer out a multiyear pact with Joel Pineiro before he files for free agency.
Pineiro wants to start next year, and the Cardinals are definitely on board with that. They have roughly $20MM to spend for at least two starters and a shortstop. Some of that will probably have to come via the trade market.
I don’t expect Pineiro to come cheap. He posted a 3.96 ERA in 11 starts for the Cards, his first taste of the National League. He bears some similarities to fellow future free agent Kyle Lohse, in that they’re relatively young and revived their careers in the NL. Pineiro was HR-prone as a Cards starter, but he showed a career-low walk rate.
If he were to hit the open market, Pineiro would surely match Jason Marquis’ three-year, $21MM contract. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him get the 3/25 of an Adam Eaton or Miguel Batista. Surely Pineiro’s agent, Arn Tellem, is aware of this. If Pineiro doesn’t test the waters, it would imply that he’s willing to settle for less money to remain a Cardinal. I don’t see the Cards giving him a three-year deal.