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Sox close to signing Pineiro

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  January 3, 2007 05:38 PM

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In a story first reported by ESPN, the Red Sox are close to signing right-handed pitcher Joel Pineiro to a one-year deal worth about $4 million, according to a team source.

Pineiro would be added to the bullpen mix and used possibly as a spot starter. He must pass a physical exam for the deal to be official.

Pineiro is only 28 and has been mostly a starter for the Seattle Mariners with a career mark of 58-55. He had a horrible season last year when he went 8-13 with a 6.36 ERA.

The Mariners elected not to offer Pineiro salary arbitration after he earned $6.8 million.

The Red Sox had been looking to add another pitcher who had the ability to start, but who also projected as a late-game reliever.

They originally kicked the tires on Tomo Ohka, but Ohka wants to start. Pineiro would join a host of relievers, including Mike Timlin, Brendan Donnelly, J.C. Romero, Julian Tavarez, Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen and Edgar Martinez for potential work late in games.

The Red Sox have come up empty trying to work out deals for potential closers Mike Gonzalez of Pittsburgh and Chad Cordero of the Washington Nationals. The Red Sox don't want to give up their young pitching propects and thus far haven't been able to make a deal.

The Red Sox might take their bevy of pitchers and attempt to find a closer among them in spring training.

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