Remaining Free Agent Starters

19 free agent starters remain, with about a week to go until Spring Training.  Let’s take a look.

  • Kris Benson (33) – Last we heard from Ken Rosenthal’s source, Benson looked so-so in throwing sessions (he had rotator cuff surgery two years ago).  The Dodgers and Cardinals appear to be suitors; the Rangers may be out, having signed Jason Jennings.
  • Paul Byrd (38) – The Red Sox will miss out on a supplemental draft pick, as Byrd intends to sit out the first half and then possibly sign with a contender.  He’d prefer the Braves, Rays, or Marlins.
  • Shawn Chacon (31)In December, Chacon’s agent said he was drawing interest from a few teams.  Chacon was released in June after a physical confrontation with Astros GM Ed Wade.
  • Tom Glavine (43) – He wants to return to Atlanta, but may seek a big league deal worth $2-3MM guaranteed.  He had minor elbow and shoulder surgeries in August.  The Nationals have been kicked around as a distant Plan B, though they just signed Odalis Perez.
  • Scott Elarton (33) – He worked out for the Padres, but they declined to sign him.  Ditto Steve Trachsel and Brian Lawrence.
  • Livan Hernandez (34) – Apparently remains on the Padres’ radar.
  • Orlando Hernandez (43) – We learned from Ken Davidoff in November that not only does El Duque want to pitch in ’09 after missing all of ’08, he wants to close.
  • Chuck James (27) – James, only 27, was non-tendered by the Braves in December.  He had rotator cuff and labrum surgery in September, so he won’t be ready until the second half.
  • Jon Lieber (39) – We haven’t heard anything about Lieber all winter.  He suggested in June that he was mulling retirement after the season.
  • Braden Looper (34) – Despite interest from the Orioles, Looper prefers the NL.  If the Dodgers sign Randy Wolf, maybe he’ll turn to the Pirates.
  • Rodrigo Lopez (33) – All quiet on the Lopez front; last I checked he was a Scott Boras client.  The Braves declined his ’09 option.  Lopez had Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery in August of ’07.
  • Pedro Martinez (37) – Pedro intends to showcase himself in the World Baseball Classic.  The Pirates were involved at one point.
  • Mark Mulder (31) – Mulder’s audition was set for early February.  The A’s and Brewers were linked to him at one point but subsequent stories made those teams sound less interested.
  • Sidney Ponson (32) – Aside from settling his grievance with the Orioles in December, we haven’t heard much about him.
  • Kenny Rogers (44) – He’s a candidate to retire.
  • Curt Schilling (42)When last reached in January, Schilling had been working out but hadn’t decided whether to play in ’09.  The D’Backs were linked to him around that time.
  • Ben Sheets (30) – Sheets had an agreement with the Rangers called off when his physical revealed the possible need for flexor tendon surgery.  He’s having the surgery and aiming for a second half return, likely leaving the Brewers without draft pick compensation.
  • Kip Wells (32) – He didn’t pitch well with the Rockies or Royals in ’08, and it’s been a quiet winter.
  • Randy Wolf (32) – Wolf is expected to sign with the Dodgers soon.


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