The re-stocked Boston Red Sox bullpen welcomed another addition Wednesday with the official signing of former Mariners starter Joel Pineiro to a one year, 4 million dollar deal with a 2008 clause hinging on certain requirements. Joining Hideki Okajima, Brendan Donnelly and J.C. Romero, Pineiro will most likely work out of the bullpen in some capacity on Opening Day. On one hand, this signing could backfire greatly as another failed project conducted by GM Theo Epstein (remember John Halama, Matt Mantei and Chad Fox?), or possibly a work of art in typical 2003 Theo form: high upside and outstanding potential for a price that seems quite fair on this crazy market.

Three main questions linger: What can we expect from the right-hander in 2007? Why on earth did Theo decide to take a chance on this Mariners reject? And in what capacity should Pineiro be used: a fifth/sixth starter or the Opening Day closer? Dissecting the career of Pineiro, I noticed a bundle of potential wrapped up in a heaping pile of utter disappointment and statistics that give me no reason to believe the future has this young arm on the upswing.

Judging simply from the numbers, it appears Pineiro has done nothing but decline in the last three years and his career will probably never get back on track. Usually when a pitcher is falling off the charts in all of those categories, something other than a change of scenery is needed to revive a career. So why would Theo ever shell out 4 million to a pitcher with a 6.36 ERA in any market?

Pineiro has worked primarily as a starter for the Mariners for the past few seasons and Evan suggested yesterday that he may fill a void in the rotation if Papelbon should move back to the closer position. Sorry Evan, but quickly let