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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 22, 2010

MLB: Pineiro finalizes $16M, 2-year deal with Angels

Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Scioscia thought about the Los Angeles Angels’ rotation, now that Joel Pineiro has been added to holdovers Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, Scott Kazmir and Ervin Santana.

“You put Joel in that mix, and I think our rotation can hold its own against any rotation in our league,” the manager said. “It’s a terrific fit for us.”
Pineiro and the Angels finalized a $16 million, two-year contract on Friday, a deal that pays him $8 million a season.
He also had been sought by the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers but choose the Angels on Wednesday, subject to a physical.
A 31-year-old right-hander, Pineiro was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA last season for the St. Louis Cardinals, his best season since going 16-11 for Seattle in 2003. He has an 87-79 record with a 4.39 ERA in 10 major league season that also included a stint with the Red Sox.
“I’m just going to be the same pitcher I was last year,” he said. “I think I’m going to be confident and I’m going to have the defense behind me, which is going to help me out a lot.”
He credited Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan for helping him make adjustments last season.
“`I want you to trust your sinker and throw it most of the time and see what happens,”’ Pineiro remembered Duncan telling him. “And from the first game in spring training it, you know, if felt good. It felt great. And that’s what I did.”
Los Angeles hopes Pineiro will help fill a hole created by the departure of John Lackey, who left the AL West champions for an $82.5 million, five-year deal with the Boston Red Sox. It took time for offers to Pineiro to develop.
“It was a little bit of a grind this year, to be candid,” said his agent, Adam Katz. “We feel very, very fortunate that this is where we are, with this economic package.”
Earlier Friday, the Angels traded outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to the New York Mets for reliever Brian Stokes.
“He voiced his frustration to us because of his desire to play every day,” Scioscia said.
The 30-year-old Stokes, born in Pomona, was 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA out of the bullpen last season, setting career highs for games (69) and innings (70 1-3). He spent the last two seasons with the Mets after making his big league debut for Tampa Bay.
“Being from Southern California growing up, I think this is going to be awesome for me,” he said.