Cubs Reportedly Sign RHP Joel Pineiro to a Minor League Contract

According to a report out of Puerto Rico courtesy of Jesse Sanchez, the Cubs have signed RHP Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract. The report indicates Pineiro will report to Mesa and participate in extended spring training for 10 days before going to Triple-A Iowa to start his season.

The Cubs were connected to Joel Pineiro several times during the off-season. Reports at the end of December indicated the Cubs were scouting his winter starts for Leones de Ponce.

Update 1:42pm CDT – The Cubs confirmed signing Joel Pineiro according to the Sun-Times.

Joel Pineiro underwent surgery on his right shoulder in June of 2012 and has not pitched in the majors since 2011. Pineiro was looking to sign a minor league contract with a team during the off-season that included a non-roster invite to Spring Training.

The 35-year old veteran right hander went 7-7 in 27 appearances, 24 starts for the Angels in 2011 with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. Pineiro pitched in five games in the Orioles system in 2012 before undergoing shoulder surgery.

Dave Duncan turned around Pineiro’s career over the two-plus seasons he spent in St. Louis. Pineiro went 28-23 with 69 games, 68 starts, for the Cardinals in 2007-2009 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

Theo Epstein signed Pineiro as a free agent in January of 2007 then flipped him to St. Louis at the deadline for minor league outfielder Sean Danielson and cash. Pineiro went 1-1 in 31 relief appearances for the eventual World Series Champs with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

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  • cubtex

    What is the projected rotation for Iowa? Rusin, Hendricks,Beeler,Loux. Is that it? Is Neil Ramirez not a starter anymore? Not sure where Pineiro would slot in.

    • RickinMSP

      Extended spring training to see for sure, what, if anything, he really has left? Since he isn’t a prospect, seems to me that he will be in the majors soon or the Cubs will cut ties. No sense is spending much time messing around with an old man. I say old, but I can’t even remember 35 any more.

      • cubtex

        understood but he will definitely get some starts at Iowa first. I guess this is in anticipation of dealing Hammel and Shark but I thought they would like to give Rusin,Ramirez or Hendricks those starts.

    • Richard Hood

      Pinero is just a waiver roster filler guy so that in case of injury you won’t have to bring a kid up before he is ready.
      If Ramirez was not going to be stretched back out as a starter then he would be in Chicago because there is no one that can claim he did not win a bullpen job this spring.

    • Tony_H

      Loux is in extended spring training.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    If he makes it to the 25 man roster before Rusin. It makes no sense.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    If Hammel Shark and Villanueva are traded it makes sense.

    • cubtex

      that’s the only thing that I could think of. I am wondering if they do not consider Neil Ramirez a starter anymore?

      • Scott

        You are assuming that Pineiro to be a starter. He has experience relieving as well and coming back from a significant shoulder injury, it could be in both the player and team’s best interest to at least start off as a reliever.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I do not think they consider Neil Rameriz more than a closer or set up guy. Shoulder issues in the past….

      • Tony_H

        Looks like a reliever.

        Iowa rotation that I see.

        6 guys
        Rusin, Hendricks, Beeler, Jokisch, Wada, Pimental

  • Eugene Debs

    Hammel has yet to throw a pitch for the Cubs and we all are already trading him.

    • cubtex

      Haha. Life of a Cubs fan these days :)

    • Ripsnorter1

      Not me. I would have NEVER have even signed him.

      BTW, Astros & Scott Feldman–SCOTT FELDMAN!–beat the Yanks today. And I mean, they beat on them, too.

      • Eugene Debs

        I picked up Scott in our fantasy league toward the end of the draft. It paid off at least once!

      • Scott

        6-2 is really beating on someone? Hmmm…interesting.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I should have been more specific: Sabathia pitched 6 innings, gave up 8 hits, 2 HR, and really got beat up while he was in there.

          And he’s their supposed “Ace.”

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Theo Epstein signed Pineiro as a free agent in January of 2007 then flipped him to St. Louis at the deadline for minor league outfielder Sean Danielson and cash. Pineiro went 1-1 in 31 relief appearances for the eventual World Series Champs with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

    There’s a prospect that went total bust. Never played a single inning in MLB.

    • Tony_H

      Happens.

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