Joel Pineiro officially signed a two-year deal with the Angels worth about $16MM today. The Cardinals will receive a supplemental first round pick as compensation for losing the Type-B free agent. The 31-year-old Pineiro probably won't match the departed John Lackey, but he was the best available free agent starter.
Pineiro will apparently receive just $1MM more than Jason Marquis despite having a much better 2009 season. Pineiro pitched like an ace, with a 3.49 ERA in 214 innings for the Cardinals. His 60.5% groundball rate and 1.1 walks per nine innings were both MLB bests. Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan deserves credit for the former, as Duncan convinced Pineiro in February to try a sinker. The walk rate may be more difficult to repeat.
The Mets and Dodgers were also known to be pursuing Pineiro. They'll now have to turn to Jon Garland, Jarrod Washburn, and Braden Looper for bulk innings. Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, and Chien-Ming Wang provide the post-injury upside. Pedro Martinez sits somewhere in-between.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.