On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals confirmed their role as a buyer rather than a seller as the trade deadline nears when they announced the acquisition of right-handed pitcher Joel Pineiro and cash from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for a minor league player to be named later.
Pineiro, 28, was designated for assignment on July 23 and accepted his assignment to the Red Sox’ Triple-A International League Pawtucket affiliate on July 25. There, he had made two starts, the most recent on Sunday, July 29 at Columbus. He posted a 2.25 ERA in eight minor league innings, striking out three, while walking four.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Pineiro had been signed by the Red Sox as a free agent in January to a one-year, $4 million contract for the 2007 season after having spent seven seasons (2000-06) with Seattle.
After rumors placed him in the mix to become the Sox’ closer in Spring Training, his .304 opponent batting average against and the return of Jonathan Papelbon to the ninth-inning role ended that idea. In a general relief position this season, Pineiro was a disappointment with a 1-1 record and a 5.03 ERA in 31 relief appearances for the Red Sox. Away from Fenway Park, he posted a 3.60 ERA in 16 appearances (15.0 IP).
Pineiro, who was a 12th round draft selection by the Mariners in 1997, made his major league debut in 2000 at the age of 21. He has compiled a career mark of 59-56 with a 4.50 ERA in 216 games (148 starts). He enjoyed his best seasons for the Mariners in 2002 and 2003 when he went 14-7 and 16-11, respectively. His 16 wins in 2003 ranked 8th in the American League, as did his 3.24 ERA in 2002.
Corresponding roster moves have not yet been announced. Also it remains to be seen whether Pineiro will be a starter or reliever with the Cardinals.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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