Apparently, Astros management read my December 27th article on the availability of second basemen Mark Loretta and signed him to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. His deal could end up being worth $3.5 million if the veteran meets incentives.
Houston is acquiring a versatile and proven player who will make a nice impact both with the bat and glove. Loretta understands that he's been brought in as a utility player, but as he said ''I feel comfortable with the organization.''
Loretta's former team the Boston Red Sox signed 28 year old pitcher Joel Pineiro to a one-year deal. The right-hander has spent all of his seven Major League seasons with the Seattle Mariners, but over the past several seasons he has struggled to get the job done.
Over the past three seasons Pineiro's ERA has been 4.67, 5.62 and 6.36. During the same span he compiled only 21 wins. Conversely, he won a total of 30 games and had a 3.51 ERA during the 2002 and 2003 seasons combined. The Red Sox's are hoping that he will become their closer for the upcoming season. Pineiro has even come out and said ''That starting thing, that's in the past.'' If Boston is to return to the playoffs they will need Joel to be lights out in the bullpen.
The Yankees inked veteran first basemen Doug Mientkiewicz to a one-year, $ 1.5 million contract. The former Gold Glove Award winner with the Twins will primarily be used as a defensive specialists at first. Mientkiewicz comes to the Bronx with postseason experience as he won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004.