Braden Looper's numbers aren't eye-catching, but the free agent righty remains useful. The 35-year-old made at least 30 starts for the third consecutive season last year, logging 194.2 innings. He pitched to a 5.22 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. Those numbers suggest that Looper isn't going to dominate, but could help teams win.
The Diamondbacks, for example, could use rotation depth. For now, they're monitoring the trade market and don't appear interested in free agent starters like Looper or Jarrod Washburn, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
The D'Backs have relied on just four starters so far this year, but Kris Benson will join the rotation and start for them tomorrow. Recent history suggests Looper could outperform Benson, but the D'Backs have Kevin Mulvey and Billy Buckner to call on, too.
The Dodgers were interested in Looper on a minor league deal back in March, but they haven't been connected to him since. Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger struck out 12 Marlins in his only start this year, so the Dodgers have an intriguing fifth starter for now.
A glance around the majors shows that a number of other clubs could use starting pitching depth. Mitch Talbot and Jake Westbrook are having early control problems for the Indians; Doug Fister, Jason Vargas and Ian Snell are far from sure things in Seattle; the Nationals have a team ERA above 7.00 and are getting less than five innings per start from their rotation; with Chris Young out, the Padres could look to Looper instead of Tim Stauffer or Wade LeBlanc; the Mets could look to add pitching, too.
There are openings around the league now and more will surely emerge as the season develops, so it would be a surprise if Looper were unable to find work given his history of durability.