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Report: Cubs sign RHP Joel Pineiro to minor league deal


The Chicago Cubs have agreed to terms with right-hander Joel Pineiro on a minor league contract, according to Chicago Sun-Times Cubs’ beat writer Gordon Wittenmyer.

Pineiro, 35, has not pitched in the majors since 2011 or the minors since 2012. Last season, he signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles last April but did not pitch due to his shoulder and was released in last July.

Pineiro last pitched in the majors in 2011 with the Los Angeles Angels and made five starts in 2012. He has a career 4.41 career ERA with a 5.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 1,754 1/3 innings.

Nearly two months ago, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez documented Pinerio’s comeback attempt.

Pineiro went 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings in five outings for Ponce this winter in Puerto Rico. For his career, he’s 104-93 with a 4.41 ERA in 335 games (263 starts) since he made his big league debut for Seattle in 2000.

Pineiro has already had quite a career. Drafted in the 12th round by the Mariners in 1997, the right-hander went 58-55 with a 4.48 ERA in 996 innings for Seattle in parts of seven seasons. He signed with the Red Sox in 2007 but never established himself in Boston and was eventually traded to the Cardinals.

The move saved his career.

The hard-throwing Pineiro would go on to re-invent himself as a sinkerball pitcher under the guidance of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, and it changed the course of the pitcher’s career. Pineiro signed a two-year deal with the Angels in 2010 after posting a 15-win season for the Cardinals the previous year.

The Cubs’ rotation currently has Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Carlos Villanueva, with both Jake Arrieta and James McDonald on the disabled list attempting to comeback from lingering injuries. Pineiro will have the opportunity to see time at Wrigley later this season if he shows consistency at Triple-A Iowa.

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