Cards Keep Pineiro

mikewest
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Interim general manager John Mozeliak has kept busy so far this offseason. Starting pitcher, Joel Pineiro is the third potential free agent retained by the Cardinals since the dismissal of Walt Jocketty.

“We felt very strongly at the time of the trade that Joel had the ability to improve our starting rotation once he had time to condition himself for that role,” Mozeliak said. “We are extremely pleased to have re-signed Joel and project him to be a steady performer for us, much like he did down the stretch this past season.”

The deal is reportedly worth $13 million, over two years. Pending the completion of a physical, Pineiro will receive a $500,000 signing bonus, and salaries of $5 million in 2008, and $7.5 million in ’09.

“The biggest key was they were really interested in me and I was interested in them,” Pineiro said. “My family loved it here, and now I think I can help this ballclub from the first day instead of the middle of the season.”

The signing places him alongside Adam Wainwright, and Braden Looper in next season’s starting rotation. Mark Mulder’s status and availability remains unclear, and staff ace, Chris Carpenter will be out at least through the All-Star break. Read more on this story here.

After going 1-1, with a 5.03 earned-run average in 31 appearances as a reliever for Boston, Pineiro started 11 games for the Cardinals, posting a 3.96 ERA, and a 6-4 record. View all of his stats here.

I’m pretty impressed. Mozeliak isn’t wasting any time, that’s for sure. The Redbirds’ starting rotation needs a lot of attention, and this signing adds an important piece to the puzzle. Pineiro’s performance as a Cardinal in ’07 wasn’t bad, especially for a guy that had been in the bullpen for the entire first half of the season. The backloaded contract works out well too. It still leaves maybe $15 million to spend on another starter, and any other missing pieces (possibly a shortstop). Well done Interim.

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