2007 MLB Free Agent Starting Pitchers Rumors

Orioles Sign Will Ohman

The Orioles signed lefty reliever Will Ohman, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The 32-year-old tallied only 22.6 pro innings last year for the Dodgers due to a shoulder injury, and they declined his $2.2MM option after the season.  Ohman didn't sign with the Dodgers until March 30th, so he didn't have much of a Spring Training.

Ohman can be very tough on lefties – he held them to a .200/.257/.314 line in 114 plate appearances in 2008.  The Blue Jays and Royals also showed interest in Ohman this winter, reported Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

2007 MLB Free Agent Starting Pitchers

I finally organized all of my free agent starting pitcher writeups into one link.  Check it out!  I also updated some of the more outdated stuff (I wrote the first one in August).  The only decent starter missing from this list is Daisuke Matsuzaka, as far as I know.

At some point, I’ll create some handy links on the sidebar where you can access free agents by position.  I’ll try to keep those updated with interested teams and who’s available.

2007 Free Agent Market: Starting Pitchers Part 6

Time to finish off our free agent starter review.  The position-based free agent posts are more of a summary of the market; I’ll also do writeups of a lot of individual free agents.

Paul Wilson – Wilson’s two-year, $8.2MM deal signed before the 2005 season has turned out horribly for the Reds.  He had his second labrum surgery in June of last year and has been unable to regain velocity.  A guaranteed contract would be a bad idea, and Wilson’s career may be in jeopardy.

2007 Free Agent Market: Starting Pitchers Part 5

Click here to view all of our previous 2007 MLB Free Agent posts.  Today I’ll continue my look at the free agent starting pitchers.

John Thomson – Thomson turned 33 in October.  Elbow soreness and a blister slowed him down in the beginning of the season, followed by shoulder problems from a mild labrum tear.  He’s going to take the rehab approach and hopes to start fresh in ’07.  Thomson made $4.75MM this year; he spent two years as a solid innings eater from 2003-04.  That seems like a long time ago. 

Steve Trachsel – Trax will turn 36 on Halloween. He’s been with the Mets since ’01, and had been quietly dependable until last year.  Trachsel’s K rate is dangerously low this season and he hasn’t walked this many in a long time.  He’s dealt with back spasms this season but has been fairly healthy overall.  The 15 wins look nice, but Trachsel may no longer belong on a contender by 2007.  He’s another one of these guys who can be had for $5MM.

Jeff Weaver – Weaver turned 30 this season.  His awful 2006 has been surprising.  When the Angels signed him for one year and $8-9MM, it seemed like a smart, low-risk move.  On the plus side, Weaver has maintained good control and a tolerable strikeout rate.  On the other hand, he’s allowed a ridiculous number of hits and home runs.  Those rates almost have to regress, and Weaver could be a mild bargain in 2007.

David Wells – Boomer, 43, returned in August from knee problems.  I’m sure it’s still hurting him, but it was a good month (2.67 ERA in four starts).  That month enabled the Red Sox to trade him to the Padres for George Kottaras.  Wells still makes for an intriguing $3MM mercenary that a lot of teams would love to have pitching in a big game.

2007 Free Agent Market: Starting Pitchers Part 4

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

Mark Redman – The Royals inexplicably failed to trade the 32 year-old lefty this July.  Redman has only posted a sub-5 ERA in one month out of the entire season (June).  He’s earning $4.5MM for his efforts.  He’ll probably end up as someone’s fifth starter next year.

2007 Free Agent Market: Starting Pitchers Part 3

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

Mark Mulder – A lost season for Mulder, who had rotator cuff surgery in September.  He won’t be ready for Opening Day.  You can blame his batting-practice like perfomance on the injury, though was K rate is identical to last year.  When you’re this hittable things can get ugly in a hurry; just ask Bruce Chen.  He could bounce back somewhat next year in his age 29 season, but shoulder surgery is tough to return from. 

Tomo Ohka – The 30 year-old missed a chunk of the season with a rotator cuff injury.  Ohka is reliably a tick above average in the NL.  He’s a solid fourth or fifth starter and should get something close to two years and $12MM.

Ramon Ortiz – Ortiz, 33, gives up a ton of hits but compensates with good control.  If you can get 200 innings of league average ball out of him for $3MM, that’s not too bad.

Chan Ho Park – Park remains quite hittable, but at least he’s harnessed his control in San Diego.  He earned a whopping $15MM in 2006 to finish off his awful contract.  Any starter who keeps his ERA under 5 and WHIP under 1.40 will hook on somewhere.

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.