Sports Outside the Beltway

Pineiro to Red Sox?

ESPN is reporting it is close.

Free-agent pitcher Joel Pineiro is closing in on a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox, two baseball sources told The deal is believed to be worth a guaranteed $4 million plus incentives, and is conditional on Pineiro passing a physical exam.

Pineiro, 28, is 58-55 in six seasons with Seattle, but struggled badly in 2006, going 8-13 with a 6.36 ERA.

He became a free agent in December when the Mariners declined to offer him a contract rather than allow him to go to salary arbitration.

Pineiro was rushed to the big-leagues, like far too many Seattle pitching prospects. He is young and demonstrated nasty stuff when he came up for good in 2001 (at age 22). His K/9 and K/BB rates have progressively gotten worse as he battled arm ailments and ineffectiveness since 2004, which made the Mariners decision to non-tender him easier. It’s a gamble, but a cost effective one. Many pitchers have benefited from a trip to the pen. Might Joel Pineiro be the next one. The Red Sox are betting $4 million to find out.

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