Discussion: Braden Looper

While the most attractive free agent starting pitchers are now off of the market, there are still some notable names searching for a home in 2010.  One such pitcher is Braden Looper.

For the Brewers in 2009, Looper posted a 5.22 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 while eating 194.2 innings.  While standard pitching metrics were less than kind to the 35-year-old, xFIP portrayed him in a better light as he recorded a 4.90 – his best since becoming a starter in 2007.

In September of last year it appeared as though Milwaukee would exercise their side of Looper's $6.5MM mutual option for 2010.  Instead, GM Doug Melvin went in a different direction, choosing to buy out the option for $1MM.  Although he did not rule out a return at the time, Melvin filled the void by inking Randy Wolf and Doug Davis to help augment the rotation. 

In December, Looper made it known that he would like to pitch for the Cubs as his three children attend Chicago-area schools.  The Dodgers seemed like a possible fit for the righty until financial troubles limited their spending this offseason.  We're now one week into February, and Looper is still without a job.

What teams should look into signing Looper?  In a market where an effective (yet, injury prone) Erik Bedard just received $1.5MM guaranteed for 2010, what kind of a deal will Looper be able to land?



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