Despite public statements from the Chicago Cubs’ front office that they are not pursuing a starting pitcher this off-season (though they clearly should be), there has been an undercurrent of rumors circulating that the team was making a push for Joel Pineiro. It has yet to be reported by the Chicago mainstream media, but ESPN’s Buster Olney confirms:

With John Lackey coming off the board, next best starting pitcher is Joel Pineiro — and the Cubs would like to make a deal. We’ll see. Buster Olney on Twitter.

Logic train time:

If the Chicago folks have not yet reported something this big, it means their sources aren’t discussing it. If Buster Olney is reporting it, it means it probably isn’t coming from Chicago Cubs folks. Thus, the rumor is probably originating from Pineiro’s people – and when a player/his agent are the source for a rumor, you have to take it with a big grain of salt, because they obviously have an interest in creating the perception of a large market for their services.

That said, does it increase Pineiro’s bargaining position with other teams by circulating a rumor that the Cubs, specifically, are the most interested team? Maybe. The Cubs are a large market team with theoretically deep pockets. But everyone knows the Cubs are hard-up for payroll space this year.

As Olney says, we’ll see. Pineiro would be a solid addition, even at the rumored 3 years and $30 million he’s been seeking.

  • juniorbors

    Why would a team that pretty much moved Jason Marquis for financial reasons, pay money for his equivalent this year? Mlbtraderumors is reporting that Piniero wants 4 years – sober up.

    • Ace

      I want 10 years and $200 million.

      Jason Marquis and Joel Pineiro are not the same pitcher. But more importantly, your rhetorical question is hardly rhetorical when it comes to the Cubs: why would the Cubs sign Milton Bradley and then desperately trade him for a guy who will be no better than his equivalent? These decisions aren’t made in a bubble – and they often don’t make a lot of sense.

      Nothing I’ve read indicates that the Cubs have the money to actually sign Pineiro – which, among other reasons, is why I said this rumor is likely coming from Pineiro’s people, not the Cubs. That said, if you are comfortable going into the season with the rotation the Cubs currently sport, more power to you. I, however, am not.

  • cubsfan619

    anyone remember the last time we signed a 3 yr 30 million contract? OH YEAH! thats right its the whole reason we can’t do anything this offseason and this will end the same way.

    • Ace

      I wouldn’t be too concerned, as this is highly unlikely to happen.

      That said – so are you suggesting the Cubs should never sign anyone to a 3 year, $30 million contract just because one 3 year, $30 million contract was a horrible blunder?