Thursday, April 20, 2006

Seattle's Joel Piniero Remains on Trading Block

Seattle SP Joel Piniero, who starts today coming off a win in which he gave up only five hits in 6.33 innings while giving up no runs, remains on the trading block and may yet be exchanged for Pittsburgh 1B Craig Wilson. Now in the last of a three-year $14.5 million contract, Piniero seems to have recovered his form after elbow and shoulder injuries ruined his '04 and '05 seasons. Piniero's record this year stands at 3-1 with a 3.66 ERA, and he has struck out 12 in 19 innings. Though Piniero's outlook remains somewhat dubious due to his checkered history, if he keeps this pace he will be a hot commodity after the All-Star break when teams making pennant runs look for rotation help. Moreover, with Pittsburgh 1B Sean Casey back from the DL, Pittsburgh will be under pressure to move Wilson rather than allow him to languish on the bench. Pittsburgh would like Seattle to pick up some of Piniero's salary while Seattle would like a major league ready pitching prospect to be included in the deal for Wilson.