2007 Free Agent Market: Starting Pitchers Part 1

As you may or may not know, MLBTradeRumors.com is your destination for all varieties of free agent info.  In fact, we’ve already begun (scroll down to see everything we’ve written on 2007 MLB free agents since February).   It’s time to take a look at starting pitchers (which will require several posts).  I’ll omit players who are highly likely to have options exercised or that I don’t deem worthy of starting for any club.

2006 League Averages for Pitchers:
AL: 4.59 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 3.20 BB/9, 6.38 K/9, 1.14 HR/9
NL: 4.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.43 BB/9, 6.60 K/9, 1.12 HR/9

For league average, think your Jake Westbrooks and Kevin Millwoods of the world.

Tony Armas Jr. – The righthander turned 28 this season.  In his career, Armas has been a part of the Mike Stanley and Pedro Martinez trades.  I wouldn’t say Armas has bounced back to his Montreal level of performance, but he did an OK job keeping the ball in the yard and limiting the free passes.  Health has always been a problem; Armas has never pitched 200 innings.  This year, it’s been a forearm strain and back spasms.  He had shoulder surgery last September; it had bothered him for years.  Despite the concerns, I’m thinking something like two years and $8MM for him.

Pedro Astacio – The 36 year-old righty has tossed just 90 innings this year because of a strained forearm.  He might be able to snag a Major League contract somewhere; the Rockies offered him over a million last offseason.

Bruce Chen – Even Scott Boras can’t make Chen’s 2006 season look good.  Still, throw him in front of a capable outfield defense in a cavernous ballpark and he could be a bargain at the back of your rotation.  He did, after all, post a 3.83 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 2005.  Jacobs Field or PETCO could make some sense.  The southpaw made about $4MM in 2006.

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