Cubs sign Joel Pineiro

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Joel Pineiro hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011, but he’s still giving it a go at age 35 and the right-hander has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cubs.

Pineiro had a 5.13 ERA and a miniscule strikeout rate in 146 innings for the Angels in 2011, but for the most part he was usually a decent mid-rotation starter for a decade or so. He’ll begin his comeback at Triple-A Iowa.

He pitched briefly for the Red Sox when the Cubs’ current front office was in charge in Boston, appearing in 31 games as a reliever with a 5.03 ERA in 2007.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.