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Monday, January 19, 2004
Contract worth $14.5 million

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners agreed to terms Monday with right-hander Joel Pineiro, signing one of the team's workhorses to a three-year contract worth $14.5 million.


The 25-year-old Pineiro set career highs with 211 2-3 innings, 151 strikeouts, 32 starts and 16 wins in 2003. He went 16-11 with a 3.78 ERA, throwing two shutouts.

The deal, expected to be announced this week, includes a $1.5 million signing bonus. Pineiro will earn $2.5 million next season, with terms escalating in the final two years of the contract.

Pineiro had a career-long eight-game winning streak from June 16 to July 31, which included 19 2-3 scoreless innings from July 21-31. He also had a five-game losing streak when the Mariners slumped in his five August starts.

Seattle was 19-13 in his 32 starts, winning three of his five no-decisions.

In three major league seasons, Pineiro has a 37-20 record and 3.38 ERA. Mariners manager Bob Melvin has said the organization expects big things from Pineiro, and he could be poised for a breakthrough season in 2004.

When it's on, his breaking ball is one of the best in the game, and Pineiro also throws effectively with his fastball, slider and changeup.

Pineiro was part of an outstanding Mariners rotation that used only five starters all season in 2003, joining Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, Gil Meche and Ryan Franklin. All but Meche threw at least 200 innings.