Starting Pitching Buyers

Roughly a half-dozen teams may be shopping credible starting pitching at this year's trade deadline.  Let's play matchmaker and examine potential buyers.

  • Nationals.  As I wrote on May 6th, the Nationals should acquire starting pitching as soon as possible.  Reinforcements are on the way, but with Scott Olsen hitting the DL there is too much uncertainty. 
  • Blue Jays.  Jesse Litsch will be back in June, but one veteran addition would help.
  • Tigers.  Max Scherzer could be a shot in the arm if he straightens things out in Triple A.  Otherwise, they have Rick Porcello, Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis, and Armando Galarraga backing up Justin Verlander.
  • Diamondbacks.  Brandon Webb might be all this team needs, but he's working on a new arm slot as he rehabs from shoulder surgery.  It may take another month.
  • Red Sox.  Josh Beckett is on the DL with a back strain, so Tim Wakefield stepped in.  Boston's interest in starting pitching might be limited to the possibility of renting Cliff Lee
  • Reds.  Homer Bailey's shoulder tightness is a concern, but the Reds' biggest gains will probably come from continued improvements by Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang
  • Angels.  They've got their starting five, so they might just have to hope for better things from Joel Pineiro and Scott Kazmir
  • Dodgers. John Ely has been excellent and Vicente Padilla has been working his way back, so the Dodgers' interest in starting pitching might be limited to aces.
  • Mets.  Mike Pelfrey has emerged behind Johan Santana.  Jon Niese has a spot when he returns from a hamstring strain and Hisanori Takahashi looked good against the Yankees.  The Mets should still look to add at least one starter, but most people felt that way during the offseason.


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27 Comments on "Starting Pitching Buyers"


Steve Elliott
5 years 2 months ago

The Blue Jays may be the last team that needs to add any veteran pitching. The only way the Jays would add veteran anything unless they thought that they flip it for prospects or draft picks at the end of the year.

bluejaysstatsgeek
5 years 2 months ago

Agreed. With the number of young starting prospects currently on the DL or in the minors (Rzepczynski, Mills, Ray, Drabek, Tallet, Litsch) they will not use their resources to acquire a veteran starter. This was not supposed to be a year in which the Jays contend, and I am sure the AA will be sticking with the plan of developing the young talent.

MadmanTX
5 years 2 months ago

The Rangers will probably be buyers if they stay in first and if now the ownership situation gets done in the next 30 days or less.

souldrummer
5 years 2 months ago

Do they have the prospects to get the deal done? It’s got to be both money and a couple of B prospects the Astros can wave at their fans to say that it’s not a pure salary dump.

BentoBox
5 years 2 months ago

Rangers are ranked #1 in almost every prospects list out there.

souldrummer
5 years 2 months ago

If they’ve got the prospects, then they should drive hard at this with the opportunity to be more generous with the prospects and get the Astros to kick in some cash. Might work well for both franchises in that case.

Ferrariman
5 years 2 months ago

not always, but usually its the rangers or rays. i’ve seen some 3rd-party rating that had braves first, im guessing because of heyward.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

The Rangers could acquire anyone in baseball that was even semi-available, their farm system is top 2 in the league. Money is a different issue until their ownership situation gets worked out. This franchise can really be a perennial contender once they can spend a little money.

lefty58
5 years 2 months ago

I say the Twins will end up with a high end pitcher. It’s their first year in a new stadium and the timing couldn’t be better for them to spend some of the new revenues.

Drew
5 years 2 months ago

We’ve already spent that new revenue. I’m not sure we go too far above that $100MM mark, and we’re RIGHT there already…

lefty58
5 years 2 months ago

I know they have spent a ton so far, but one more piece at the front of that rotation would make them a serious contender this year.
Besides, the money that Nathan was getting is insured to 82% and Nathan was getting 11.2 this year with a team payroll of 97m, that brings current payroll to about 88-89 m, which leaves enough room for a good starter this year.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 2 months ago

I really don’t see the Sox buying pitching unless they get closer to the WC. Add to that the M’s would probably ask for Kelly even for a 3 month rental. I don’t see the Sox selling, but I also don’t see them going in hardcore buy mode, even if Fielder or Gonzalez some how end up on the market. It’s more of a matter of there’s not spot for an acquisition. If the Sox pull off a surprise move then it’ll be trading Paps for pieces they think they can turn around during the off season.

johnsilver
5 years 2 months ago

Hard to see Boston buying/acquiring any SP’s if they do somehow creep back into the WC race, unless Beckett’s back AND Matsuzaka both go down. Wakefield can replace one of those guys fairly decent, though they have zilcho at AAA right now, with Bowden flaming big time at Pawtucket, Tazawa gone for the year and no other SP of any help close on the horizon.

The only piece(s) can see them making a move for (if the do get back into the WC race) would be another middle reliever, unless all of a sudden Ramon Ramirez and Okajuma start to be much more consistent, or Boof Bonser makes some kind of miracle return from the abysmal outings he has made at AAA so far.

Honestly? I would not be one of the people to trash the team right now if they could sell off and get fair to decent prospects back for Beltre, Hermida, Martinez, Papelbon, even Matsuzaka if a NL team could get something out of him, think he could do something in that league.

Chances of them making the WC are not that good and could get more now would think from those pieces than waiting, even offering arbitration to martinez and Beltre. Move them now and get those prospects, forget the backlash. Severe Injuries to Britton, Hagedone, Westmoreland have hurt key prospects last few years and set them back some, it’s time to build the lower levels of the farm system back up, like last 2 years strong draft have helped. 1 year is not going to make the masses go away.

0bsessions
5 years 2 months ago

“if the do get back into the WC race”

The Sox are 2.5 games out of the Wild Card with over 100 games left to play. In what sense are they NOT in the Wild Card race right now?

The Rays are out of reach for now, but the Sox are only 2.5 back on the Yanks who are 5 of their last 15. Not exactly insurmountable. The only other two WC teams ahead of them are Toronto (Who are NOT going to stick around) and Detroit (Who could cause trouble, but no more so than the Yanks). The Sox are very much in the thick of it still.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 2 months ago

If the Sox suddenly need an emergency starter don’t be surprised to see Felix Doubront making his big league debut. He’s not one of the more sexy names among prospects, but I think he could easily become a solid #3 pitcher eventually. He’s had a great start to the year in Portland and one way or another I’d be shocked to not see him in Boston before the year is done.

Spirit of '69
5 years 2 months ago

I’ve been touting Oswalt for the Mets since the off-season, and it makes so much sense it’ll likely never happen. Santana-Oswalt-Pelfrey could a) get them into the post-season and b) be quite formidable in the post-season. But, in the fine Mets tradition, why do the obvious when you can do the ridiculous.

mikefromNY
5 years 2 months ago

That would be a great combo… just not sure who they have in the farm left (not named Fmart). They should trade Beltran back to Houston since I think that Pagan has done a really good job in CF.

Spirit of '69
5 years 2 months ago

Metsvilleslugger, MikefromNY — I would try to keep Mejia and go for quantity as well as quality along with picking up Oswalt’s salary. This nonsense about how the Mets don’t have payroll flexibility nuts. We all know they have the money. Let’s toss around some names: Murphy or F. Martinez (I’d even entertain sending both Murphy and F-Mart) plus Holt, Tejada and another pitching prospect (but not if we send both Murhpy and F-Mart) plus picking up all of Oswalt’s salary. If that’s not enough, let’s toss around what more Houston would want, but that’s a lot to open with if we’re picking up his salary. Everyone now knows Houston is looking to trade him, everyone will bide their time to bring down the asking price which is at its highest right now.

I agree Pagan has played well, but if Beltran comes back and can play they will need Pagan as a fourth outfielder, pinch-hitter, etc., and they can get rid of Gary Matthews Jr.

Infield Fly
5 years 2 months ago

(Also for mikefromNY) From the standpoint of being an avid Mets fan, I understand your conjecture about how to go about acquiring Oswalt all too well – and share the desire to see him in a Mets uni’. However, from Oswalt’s side I don’t see it at all. Back in 2006 it came out that Omar was trying to deal for Oswalt but it fell through. Oswalt, in turn expressed relief about this, and flat-out stated that he did not want to go play for the Mets – and this was when the Mets were flying high and were the class of the NL. Now it is 2010, and besides the fact that there is no indication that Oswalt’s sentiment has changed, he has made it known that he and his no-trade clause have every intention of heading to a legitimate contender – if anywhere at all. Some of his preferred destinations are even known, and again the Mets are not among them. Meanwhile, as inspiring as they have been to us, it’s not as if the Mets’ intermittent display of fire realistically screams “contender” – not from last place in the division, nor given the team’s history in recent years. So in light of the situation, I feel like your creative schemes for landing Oswalt are commendable and desirable for Mets fans, but pretty unrealistic…and…[lame though they may be] why call out the team’s management for its reluctance to deal for guy who, in all likelihood, wants nothing to do with our team, and has the juice to enforce it?Hey, I hate having to say all this stuff but that’s really how it’s lookin’ to me.

5 years 2 months ago

METS WILL ACQUIRE OSWALT AND LEE BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

TYPING IN ALL CAPS MAKES PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO NOTICE ME.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Oh and your prediction is ludicrous.

Taskmaster75
5 years 2 months ago

This is a rather paranoid situation, but the Cardinals might be willing to buy a cost effective innings eater in case Lohse’s injury is serious, since I believe he is having elbow problems. Someone like Jon Garland, Livan Hernandez, etc. if their respective teams fall out of contention.

This is a bit premature, I agree, but Lohse has been horrible, almost Todd Wellemeyer 2.0- esque. I really hope that the elbow is truly his only problem, but I won’t be holding my breath. I would rather let him take some time in the minors to figure it out rather than see him implode and not be able to be mentally stable on the mound.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Livan Hernandez should not be trusted, even with Dave Duncan on your side.

Taskmaster75
5 years 2 months ago

But he’s cheap and at least an innings eater. We already have all the firepower we need. The 5th spot just needs to be someone dependable.

Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

His BABIP on the year is .193 and he has a ridiculous 97.5 LOB%, both his FIP and xFIP are over 5, his shiny sub 2 ERA looks nice now, but any team that trades for him is going to get his regressed performance and I’m not sure you could call him dependable.

bomberj11
5 years 2 months ago

Wow, imagine the top four in your pitching rotation composing of Lee, Beckett, Lackey and Lester for years to come if the BoSox trade for Lee and lock him up.