<
>

Contract worth $14.5 million

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.