ANAHEIM, CA: Joel Pineiro #35 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Phillies have signed starting pitcher Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract with a spring training invite.
In 2009, Joel Pineiro pretty much didn't walk anybody for the St. Louis Cardinals. On January 22, 2010, Pineiro inked a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels worth $16 million. In the first year of that contract, Pineiro was pretty good. In the second year of that contract, Pineiro was not. That's why this is happening:
The Phillies have agreed to a minor league contract with free-agent pitcher Joel Pineiro, according to a major league source. The deal includes an invitation to the Phillies' big league spring training camp.
The Phillies' rotation already includes Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, Vance Worley and some Roy Halladay character. Pineiro is signing on as insurance, which isn't the worst idea given that pitchers are fragile and Blanton in particular is fragile. But Pineiro's getting a minor league contract because he is not to be trusted.
Last season, Pineiro whiffed just 3.8 batters per nine innings and missed time with a shoulder injury. He can survive with low walks and high grounders, but he's trending poorly, which explains why he couldn't find a major league deal. I guess it's possible he was offered a major league deal and turned it down, but that major league deal wouldn't have come from anyone good.