Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joel Pineiro Signs with the Los Angeles Angels




Joe Pineiro is packing his bags for the west coast.

Pineiro has reportedly signed a two-year deal worth roughly $16 million with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels suffered a number of free agent losses this offseason, but recouped some pitching depth Wednesday with the signing Pineiro, who was believed by many to be the best remaining arm on the market.

Pineiro, 31, went 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 32 starts for St. Louis in 2009. Much of that success was due to his impressive, and league leading, 60.2% groundball rate.

The addition of Pineiro seemingly rounds out the Angels rotation for 2010.

Alongside Pineiro will be lefties Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders and fellow right-handers Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana.

Pineiro comes as a consolation prize of sorts for the Angels who had previously struck out in pursuit of pitching this offseason.

The club made an unsuccessful bid to retain John Lackey when he signed with the Boston Red Sox in December.

At almost exactly the same time, the club came up empty in an attempt to trade for Roy Halladay. Halladay landed in Philadelphia as part of a three-team trade with the Mariners and Blue Jays.

In January, the Angels were reportedly very interested in signing Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. In the end, Los Angeles was beat to the punch by the small-market Cincinnati Reds.

Pineiro himself may consider the Angels a consolation prize as well.

Earlier this offseason Pineiro indicated that he was looking for a four-year deal with a higher annual value than what Randy Wolf received from the Milwaukee Brewers in December.

Unfortunately for Pineiro, his market never really developed and it seemed for weeks that he was destined to land in either New York with the Mets or on the other side of Los Angeles with the Dodgers.

The Angels jumped into the fray earlier this week and quickly become Pineiro’s top choicehttp://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/8008756702.

Although Pineiro didn’t get the years or dollars he was reportedly seeking, he has landed in a good spot to re-establish his value for his next foray into free agency.

The Angels are a consistently competitive ballclub with a solid defense to back Pineiro in the field. Additionally, he’ll benefit from pitching games in the cavernous parks of Oakland and Seattle on a frequent basis.

He’ll be 33 when he re-enters the market in two years and could parlay two good years with the Angels into one final payday that will be more to his liking.

Los Angeles still has holes to fill, especially given the strides made by the rest of the division this winter, but the addition of Pineiro gives the Angels arguably the best rotation in the American League West.


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