Friday, August 21, 2009

Free Agent Watch - Joel Pineiro

Sticking to our prerogative of unoriginality here at Start Wedman, I will jump on the bandwagon and begin a discussion about Joel Pineiro. Like the previously mentioned Chone Figgins, Pineiro will be one of the most interesting players to hit the market this winter.

Thanfully, to save me a bunch of time researching and wallowing about my baseball nerd level, Nick Kapur of Ump Bump did a brilliant job of covering the stats behind Pineiro's season already. My favorite part of the breakdown is the point that although he strikes out fewer batters than a slow pitch softball player (4.07 K per 9), Pineiro has a K to BB ratio (4.17) that competes with aces like Greinke, Verlander, and Lincecum due to his ungodly low 0.94 BB per 9. (Keep in mind all of these stats are current as of last Saturday before he lost control and walked 2 in 7.2 innings against San Diego last night) (Also, suck on those long ass sentences)

When the Cardinals brought Pineiro on board in 2007 with a deadline deal, I was pissed. I thought it was one of the worst moves ever made in St. Louis which I was able to support with Pineiro's god awful 2008 season (in which he managed to give up 22 HRs in 148.2 innings... ouch). Not to mention that he was signed to a two year, $13M deal before the season. I was fuming. In fact, I hated him so much that I wanted to strangle a small child when no one outbid my $1 I threw down on Pineiro during our fantasy draft this season.

But now most of that anger has gone away with his brilliant season. In fact, he is doing so well that I think he has to be thrown into the Cy Young discussion, along with the Comeback Player of the Year. I have come to expect that the Cards will win if they give Pineiro the run support now (which is proving to be easier and easier now with Holliday and Pujols together). Kind of a dangerous thought, but he just keeps pounding the strike zone and getting players to chop those pitches into the ground.

But what kind of contract do you think he ends up with this offseason? And where does he go?

I think it boils down to whether Joel Pineiro (and his agent) want money or success. If they want success, he stays in St. Louis with Duncan and signs a hometown discount deal. I think something like three years at $21-24M. He has had a very good year and should be rewarded, plus I think he has found a gift from heaven with Duncan's two-seamer. Plus, he will have a very good chance of contending for a playoff spot each year with Carp, Wainwright, Pujols, Colby, and (hopefully) Holliday carrying the team. I would be okay with this as a Cards fan especially since he has proven this year that he can be a formidable number three or four in the NL.

However, if Pineiro wants money, I think he will use Lohse's four year, $41M contract as a framework. In the end, if there is a slight bidding war, I think he could fool someone like the Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, or Astros into giving him a four year, $45M deal. He is only 31, but I don't think he would be worth paying this amount (aka, like an ace). There is a relatively thin right-handed free agent market that includes Rich Harden, John Lackey, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, and Brett Myers. Only Harden and Myers are younger. And I would argue that Pineiro is better than all but Harden (although he is a high injury risk) and Lackey. This could create a bidding war for Joel after Harden and Lackey are signed... which sounds really fucking weird, but could definitely be true. That's why I count on some desperate dumbass like Omar Minaya salivating over Pineiro's services.

I don't see any AL team wanting to bring him in. I think he would get crushed having to face more potent lineups with a DH. The last thing Pineiro needs is to be facing the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, or Angels more than once a year.

Those are my thoughts... what are yours?


  1. I think he signs at about 2 years 15 mil. But if he did sign at 3/$21 mil, that would be the exact same contract as Jason Marquis (which would make me very happy).

    The wild card here is the Mets. They are dumb as shit, and desperate for starting pitching. Which means they will sign at least two free agent pitchers, one most likely being Lackey. This leave one spot for the Mets to horribly overbid on. And if history has taught us anything, the Mets will be spending way to much on Piniero.

  2. Jason Marquis 2009 all star, but also garbage.

  3. How many Hudson's would fit in CC Sabathia's giant pants?

  4. Yes in something like the guy from the hangover had. Like a front baby holder thing.

    Could more of him fit in CC's or in Prince Fielders?