Risk/Reward of the Joel Pineiro Signing

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IJanuary 21, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 10: Starting pitcher Joel Pineiro #35 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Busch Stadium on October 10, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Angels reached an agreement with free agent right-hander Joel Pineiro on a two-year deal worth $16 million, two sources told SI.com on Wednesday night.

The move comes somewhat as a surprise, as earlier reports had the Mets and Dodgers as the front-runners for the Pineiro's services.

But news of the Angels' interest heightened on Wednesday when Newsday reported the Angels were the veteran's top choice. Additionally, ESPN.com reported that the deal is pending a physical, which will be held Thursday.

An Angels spokesperson, however, said the club "had nothing to announce at this time."

Pineiro, who went 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts with the Cardinals in 2009, will help solidify an Angels rotation that already has four quality starters in Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir, Joe Saunders, and Ervin Santana.

With the addition of Pineiro, the Angels now have a strong starting rotation on paper, but this deal is risky from the Angels' perspective.



Was Pineiro's 2009 season a fluke?

Is Pineiro worth eight million dollars a year?

How will he fare in the American League?



Only a two year commitment

Adds SP depth; Angels now have a very deep rotation

Very effective when he keeps the ball down in the zone



The bottom line is this: if Joel Pineiro comes close to matching his 2009 performance for the Angels, then this contract will work out swimmingly for the Angels.

Pineiro was fantastic last season for the Cardinals and not only turned his career around, but he showed the baseball world what he could do with his sinker when he kept the ball down.

However, there are a number of questions about Pineiro that makes this deal a risk for the Angels:

Can he pitch in the AL?

Was Pineiro's 2009 season a fluke?

The Angels are certainly hoping that Pineiro's career has turned a corner and that the 2009 Pineiro is the guy that they signed.