In recent days the starting pitching market has finally started moving. Dan Haren was traded to the Diamondbacks, and Hiroki Kuroda signed with the Dodgers. Now that the ball is rolling, what’s next?
- There are no aces available via free agency, but Kuroda might’ve been the best anyway. There are three free agents with ace potential but checkered histories: Roger Clemens, Bartolo Colon, and Mark Prior. Colon is the only one with a shot at 200 innings in 2008, and he probably won’t require more than a two-year deal. Healthy pitchers with lower ceilings comprise the next tier – Carlos Silva, Kyle Lohse, Josh Fogg, Josh Towers, and Livan Hernandez.
- The injury tier of once-decent free agents, who are garnering plenty of attention: Kris Benson, Matt Clement, Freddy Garcia, Jason Jennings, Jon Lieber, Rodrigo Lopez.
- There are some ace starters available via trade, if you’re willing to give up half of your farm system. Johan Santana and Erik Bedard are the game-changers. Joe Blanton will be slightly cheaper, but isn’t as nasty. A.J. Burnett can compete with Bedard’s stuff but he has injury concerns and one year left on his deal before he can opt out. After that we see a dropoff in trade candidates - Kevin Millwood, Dave Bush, Chris Capuano, Matt Morris, Jason Marquis. The Brewers are definitely holding some nice cards here.
- Teams looking to add pitching: Yankees, Royals, Mariners, Rangers, Nationals, Mets, Phillies, Reds, Astros, Cardinals, Giants, and Rockies.