Mariners Analysis

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pineiro and Johnson

We'll go with Joel Pineiro and his signing by the Sox first.

When I first heard he was going to the Red Sox, I was surprised simply because I didn't think a team with the payroll of a Boston needs guys like Joel Pineiro, especially for $4 million. It's like being super rich and then spending a bunch of money at the Gap. No matter how hard you try, you're never going to impress anyone with anything you bought there. At best Joel might be worth that money, but it's a long shot. The Red Sox had to notice the pitching-poor M's wanted nothing to do with him. They had to notice his ERA over 6, his demotion from the starting rotation, the declining fast ball, the lack of confidence etc... and yet they signed him. You would think teams like Kansas City or Pittsburgh would be forced to bottom feed for overpaid veteran pitchers who have lost their ability to get batters out, but instead we see a team with a payroll over $140 million take a shot. It's like going all in on pair of fours- you might win every once in a while, but that doesn't make it a smart move. Boston's farm system must be devastated to have to sign someone like Pineiro. He is the definition of a replacement player right now.

However, when I read Boston is thinking of using him as their closer I just about fell out of my chair. Not since Billy Beane signed Arthur Rhodes to be the A's closer have I seen a more crazy, whacked-out plan involving an M's pitcher that could be more doomed to fail. The entire Boston FO should be subjected to drug testing immediately. Seriously, if Joel Pineiro is a successful closer for Boston why... I ... can't even think what I would do. It would turn my world upside down. Forget cats living with dogs, this is much bigger. This would basically prove the existence of a higher being, because if Joel Pineiro is a successful closer for Boston it could only be achieved by someone selling their soul.

I feel like I've already written more than I ever should have regarding Joel Pineiro, and feel blessed I'll never have to again. Perhaps he will resurrect his career and enjoy success, but I just don't see it happening. At least he has a beautiful wife, a pension and millions on the bank to fall back on. We should all be so lucky.

Now as for Randy Johnson, my first take on the trade is what a magnificent deal for the Yankees. Sure he is still a successful pitcher, but not to the tune of $16 million. As I've already argued, he isn't capable of pitching at a level you would expect to for that kind of money, so basically the Yankees rid themselves of an overpaid resource. They can now use some of that money to lure Clemens later this summer (who is still worth that kind of money) or allow themselves the ability to take on an Abreu mid-year when no one else can. The fact they hauled in a bunch of prospects is just icing on the cake.

I hate to say it, but this is a great deal for the Yankees. I'm just glad the M's aren't involved, as they would have had to empty a thin farm system to match this deal.