The Market For Joel Pineiro

The Mets have been connected to free agent pitcher Joel Pineiro since the beginning of the off season. Pineiro is said to be Minaya’s top pitching target. It is believed that Pineiro is being pursued by the Dodgers and Angels as well.

Although Pineiro has at least three suitors, it remains to be seen if any of these teams will meet his contract demands. Pineiro is said to be looking for a three or four year contract at roughly 15 million a season. That is an insane asking price for a pitcher who has been up and down his entire career.

I strongly believe that Pineiro’s success in 2009 was due mostly to the work of Cardinals pitching coach, Dave Duncan. Duncan, one of the better pitching coachs in the game, is known for his reclamation projects. Pineiro will not put up numbers anyway near the numbers he put up in 2009.

The Mets are better off just letting Pineiro sign elsewhere, and turning their attention toward the trade market. Cubs ace, Carlos Zambrano, is said to be on the block. The Reds are also said to be shopping both Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang. Either of those three starters are more passable as a number two starter than Pineiro. If the Mets fail to pull off a trade, they can focus on Jon Garland, or they can take a risk on Ben Sheets or Eric Bedard.

It remains to be seen how Minaya intends to improve the starting rotation, but lets hope he doesn’t fall into the same mistake as last year and give a multi-year contract to a pitcher with a career full of up and downs.

Pineiro was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 2009, and has a record of 87-79 with an ERA of 4.39 for his career.