Joel Pineiro Rumors
The Cubs have agreed to terms with right-hander Joel Pineiro on a minor league contract, according to Hiram Torraca of El Nuevo Dia in Puerto Rico (Spanish Twitter link). The Puerto Rican veteran will spend 10 days in extended Spring Training before reporting to Triple-A Iowa, per Torraca. Pineiro is a client of the Wasserman Media Group.
Pineiro, 35, hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since 2011 or the minor leagues since 2012. He inked a minor league deal with the Orioles last offseason after shoulder surgery cut his 2012 campaign short. Pineiro spent some time rehabbing with the club, but he was released midway through the season without getting into a game. Earlier this offseason, Pineiro was said by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez to be attempting a comeback.
Pineiro experienced success with the Mariners early in his career, posting a 3.29 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 481 1/3 innings with the team from 2001-03 -- his age-22 to age-24 seasons. He scuffled over the next several years, however, and ultimately found himself released by Seattle.
After a brief stop with the Red Sox, Pineiro became one of the many pitchers to experience a career resurgence under the tutelage of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan. Pineiro pitched to a 3.49 ERA in 214 innings for the Cardinals in 2009 and led the league with a stellar 1.1 BB/9 rate (which helped offset his low 4.4 K/9 clip). That performance helped him land a two-year, $16MM contract with the Angels, and while he maintained his strong performance in 2010, he struggled again in 2011 and hasn't been back to the bigs since.
For his career, Pineiro owns a 4.41 ERA with 5.4 K.9, 2.5 BB/9 and a strong 49.2 percent ground-ball rate thanks to his sinker. Chicago's rotation currently consists of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Carlos Villanueva, with both Jake Arrieta and James McDonald on the disabled list. A strong performance for Pineiro at Triple-A could get him some consideration for starts later in the season in the event of further injuries or trades of current rotation members such as Samardzija or Hammel.
Two-sport stars do not always choose baseball, but those who do tend to cite the better financial prospects from the player's perspective, writes USA Today's Gabe Lacques. Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley, for example, says it was hard to turn down the chance to be "a legend" by playing quarterback for Oklahoma, but his awareness of the lack of guaranteed money and attrition in football led him to take a $5MM signing bonus. Billy Hamilton and Carl Crawford are other players quoted in the article who do note regret their choice. "Look, there's way more money in baseball," says Cubs president Theo Epstein. "We have to do a better job as an industry in promulgating that fact." Or, as Bradley puts things, "obviously, guaranteed money is never a bad thing."
Here are a few more stray notes from the day:
- Longtime Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter says he is at peace with his decision to hang up his spikes, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 38-year-old says that, after working out over the winter, he knew it was time: "It's not going to work," he realized. "No matter how hard I push it's just not going to happen." Carpenter and GM John Mozeliak are still sorting out what role he will play in the organization going forward.
- Veteran hurler Joel Pineiro is still working on his comeback, tweets Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. He showed off his form a few days back in front of at least a dozen teams' representatives. The 35-year-old righty has played in parts of twelve MLB campaigns, posting a lifetime 4.41 ERA over 1,754 1/3 innings, but has not pitched in the bigs since 2011.
- Another familiar arm, Aaron Cook, is now pumping the brakes on his own attempt at a return, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Though he is not retiring, Cook is reportedly unlikely to pitch in the coming season. The 35-year-old has a career stat-line not unlike that of Pineiro, with a 4.60 ERA over 1,406 1/3 frames in parts of 11 seasons. After developing into a solid innings-eater in his late twenties, Cook's production took a distinct downturn over the 2010-12 campaigns.
Former Mariners, Red Sox, Cardinals and Angels pitcher Joel Pineiro is trying to make his way back to the big leagues, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports. Pineiro is pitching in Puerto Rico this winter, and he'll start against a Cuban team on Tuesday in the Caribbean Series. Sanchez notes that the start could help Pineiro win a minor-league deal, but it also could be his last start as a pro. Still, Pineiro remains hopeful.
"Hopefully, I'll know more after Tuesday," Pineiro says. "[L]ook at a guy like Scott Kazmir. He stands out because he was with us in Anaheim, goes to Independent ball, got a chance with Cleveland and made the team. ... A lot of players like Kazmir or Marlon Byrd have a good winter ball experience and Caribbean Series and all of a sudden, they get a second chance."
Pineiro last pitched in the big leagues in 2011 with the Angels. He made five starts in the Orioles system in 2012, but missed much of the season with shoulder trouble. He did not pitch in 2013, and the O's released him last July. The 35-year-old has a career 4.41 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 1,754 1/3 innings, most of them as a starter.
Here are your minor moves from Monday and Tuesday with the trade deadline having passed...
- Nate Adcock was outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Diamondbacks, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Adcock has an alarming 7.35 ERA in 89 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season between the D'Backs and Royals organizations.
- The Braves outrighted Kameron Loe Triple-A Gwinnett after he cleared waivers, according to the International League transactions page. Loe was designated for assignment to clear 40-man roster space for Scott Downs. He threw 42 1/3 innings of 3.19 ERA ball at Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up to the Major League team last week.
- Greg Reynolds cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Louisville by the Reds, according to the team's assistant director of media relations, Jamie Ramsey (on Twitter). That seems somewhat surprising, as the former No. 2 overall draft pick posted a 2.54 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 127 1/3 innings at Louisville this season before being designated for assignment. Ramsey also notes that the Reds signed Brandon Short to a minor league deal after the outfielder was released by the White Sox.
- The Orioles have announced that right-hander Jairo Asencio has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A as well. Asencio was designated for assignment over the weekend.
- The Orioles also released right-hander Joel Pineiro from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, the team announced on Twitter. Pineiro, a veteran of 12 Major League seasons, was injured all season and didn't throw a pitch for the Tides in 2013. He last appeared in the bigs with the Angels in 2011 and has a career 4.41 ERA in 1754 1/3 innings.
- Left-hander Duane Below has signed with the Kia Tigers of Korea, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) and Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (also via Twitter). Below posted a 2.44 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 99 2/3 innings between the Triple-A affiliates for the Marlins and Tigers this season. He has a 4.27 ERA in 78 Major League innings.
- Nine players are in DFA limbo: Steve Susdorf of the Phillies, Joe Martinez of the Indians, Jason Bay of the Mariners, Brad Hawpe of the Angels, Yusmeiro Petit and Hunter Strickland of the Giants, Ted Lilly of the Dodgers, Brandon Inge of the Pirates and Carlos Pena of the Astros.
We'll track the day's minor moves here...
- The Padres signed second baseman Adam Buschini to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. The 25-year-old Buschini was a fourth-round pick of the Phillies in 2009 but hasn't appeared in affiliated ball since 2010. He spent this past season in the Australian Baseball League where he won the Triple Crown by hitting .363 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs.
- Left-hander Brian Burres has agreed to sign with Taiwan's Lamigo Monkeys, agent Marc Kligman tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Burres has a 5.75 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 358 1/3 innings between the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates.
- The Orioles agreed to sign right-hander Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (all Twitter links). The 34-year-old last-pitched at the MLB level with the 2011 Angels. Pineiro, who pitched in the Orioles' minor league system in 2012, had surgery to repair a SLAP tear in his right shoulder last July.
- The Orioles also completed a minor league deal with left-hander Mark Hendrickson, Connolly reports. Hendrickson, the former NBA player who pitched with Baltimore from 2009-11, recently threw bullpen sessions for Orioles personnel. The 38-year-old is now pitching sidearm as he attempts to return to the MLB level for the first time since 2011.
- The Indians have agreed to sign Jeremy Hermida to a minor league contract, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). Hermida played for the Padres in 2012, appearing in 13 games. The 29-year-old was regarded as a top prospect early in his professional career and he hit 18 home runs for the 2007 Marlins, but he hasn't produced on offense in the past three seasons. Hermida, a first round pick in 2002, bats from the left side.
A total of 549 minor league players became free agents after the season, and Baseball America's Matt Eddy lists each and every one by team and position. Some are big league veterans (Joel Pineiro, Conor Jackson), some are former top prospects (Andy LaRoche, Brandon Wood), and most fall somewhere in between.
Players who have been in the minor leagues for at least parts of seven seasons are automatically granted free agency, though there are other conditions that allow players to hit the open market earlier in their careers.
The Orioles have signed right-hander Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). They Orioles will assign the Wasserman Media Group client to Triple-A for now, but they've signed him with the intention of using him as a long-reliever in the Major Leagues.
Pineiro signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in January and would have earned $1.5MM on the MLB roster, but they released him before Opening Day. Pineiro started 24 games for the 2011 Angels, posting a 5.13 ERA with 3.8 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 145 2/3 innings.
The Phillies announced that they released right-hander Joel Pineiro. The Wasserman Media Group client signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in January and would have earned $1.5MM on the MLB roster.
Pineiro started 24 games for the Angels in 2011, posting a 5.13 ERA with 3.8 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 145 2/3 innings. There wasn't room for the 33-year-old on the Phillies' staff, however. As a veteran player who had a Major League deal in 2011, Pineiro would have obtained $100K if the Phillies had assigned him to the minor leagues.
On this day in 1982, the Padres traded Ozzie Smith, Steve Mura, and Al Olmsted to the Cardinals for Luis DeLeon, Sixto Lezcano and Garry Templeton. The trade was sparked by both Smith and Templeton having issues with their respective teams. Here's a look at today's links..
- Stanford righty Mark Appel isn't a lock for the No. 1 pick in the draft, writes ESPN's Keith Law (Insider req'd). Appel touched 97mph in the first inning of his first start, but sat 91-95mph for the next six innings and doesn't command his fastball well enough in the zone to miss as many bats as he should, says Law. Law also looks at some Stanford hitters who should go high in the draft and notes some impressive velocity from around the country yesterday.
- The Angels have hired former big leaguers Gary Varsho and Jeff Cirillo as scouts, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
- Rangers reliever Koji Uehara wants to get his situation settled and know where he's playing this season, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Texas has been talking with clubs about a possible deal, including the Athletics.
- The Indians are still working through details in their talks with Jon Garland, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. The pitcher was originally set to undergo a physical on Monday but that now seems unlikely.
- When asked about adding Roy Oswalt or anyone else, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told reporters, "We're always open for business here," tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Dusty Baker only has one year remaining on his contract, but the Reds skipper says that he isn't concerned about it, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner told Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) that he hasn't heard from the team about a long-term contract yet.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) has the contract figures on two minor league signings from earlier this offseason. Joel Pineiro will earn $1.5MM if he makes the big league roster with the Phillies while Ryan Spilborghs will receive a $1MM base salary if he's in the majors with the Indians.
The Phillies officially signed Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract with a spring training invite today. Pineiro is represented by Wasserman Media Group.
Pineiro, 33, pitched to a 5.13 ERA with just 3.8 K/9 in 145 2/3 innings for Angels last year while battling shoulder tightness. After earning his two-year, $16MM deal from the Halos thanks to a 60.5% ground ball rate and 1.14 BB/9 with the Cardinals in 2009, those rates fell to a still solid 48.3% and 2.35 BB/9 in 2011. Pineiro will give the team some back of the rotation protection behind Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels. Vance Worley and Joe Blanton figure to round out the starting staff, though the latter was limited to just 41 1/3 innings last year due to elbow problems.
ESPN's Jayson Stark first reported the agreement on Sunday.