Teams With Potential Interest In Upside Starters

It's easy to be tempted by talented pitchers like Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Chien-Ming Wang and Brad Penny. Those starters have all pitched at an elite level in the major leagues, so teams are a little more willing to overlook recent struggles or injuries. As usual, GMs will place calls to high-upside pitchers such as Brandon Webb and Jeff Francis this offseason.

Webb, Francis, Penny, Harden, Wang, Chris Young, Erik Bedard, Pedro Martinez and Justin Duchscherer could all hit free agency this offseason. High-upside arms aren't for everyone, of course, so here's a list of teams that may have interest in this kind of pitcher for their 2011 rotations:


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33 Responses to Teams With Potential Interest In Upside Starters Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Hill did a decent job in Pawtucket, I think a few teams might consider giving him a shot to win a rotation job or a shot in the pen.

  2. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Hill did a decent job in Pawtucket, I think a few teams might consider giving him a shot to win a rotation job or a shot in the pen.

  3. EdinsonPickle 5 years ago

    These guys all have high upsides, but I wouldn’t take a flier on any of them. These guys have all been injured constantly for more than two or so years now, so it’s hard to expect anything from any of them other than stints on the DL. I like a lot of these guys, but unless there are few other options out there I don’t think I would pick any of them up.

    Also is Sheets even going to be able to pitch next season? Or ever again for that matter? He had two big surgeries on his arm this year.

  4. EdinsonPickle 5 years ago

    These guys all have high upsides, but I wouldn’t take a flier on any of them. These guys have all been injured constantly for more than two or so years now, so it’s hard to expect anything from any of them other than stints on the DL. I like a lot of these guys, but unless there are few other options out there I don’t think I would pick any of them up.

    Also is Sheets even going to be able to pitch next season? Or ever again for that matter? He had two big surgeries on his arm this year.

  5. moonraker45 5 years ago

    Blue Jays – The Jays may decide to create competition for the fifth starter’s job.

    Jesse litsch, Kyle Drabek, Shawn Hill, Zach Stewart, Brad Mills, Robbie Ray, Marc Rzepchynski, and possibly Dustin Mcgowan (you never know)

    Seems like the competition is already there..

  6. moonraker45 5 years ago

    Blue Jays – The Jays may decide to create competition for the fifth starter’s job.

    Jesse litsch, Kyle Drabek, Shawn Hill, Zach Stewart, Brad Mills, Robbie Ray, Marc Rzepchynski, and possibly Dustin Mcgowan (you never know)

    Seems like the competition is already there..

    • I guess Scott Richmond and Bryan Tallet have already been eliminated from the competition.

      In all honesty, Drabek is the only one on that list that I have any confidence in for next year, with the possible exception of Brad Mills. I think Stewart still needs some time.

      • moonraker45 5 years ago

        I agree with that, although I think Rzepchynski is a lot better than he has shown this year.. I was just merely making the case that there is already some pretty stiff competition for the 5th spot..Tallet should be cut lose this offseason, especially with Cito gone I cant anticipate Tallet coming back.. and forgot about richmond, but realistically he has no chance

        • Sniderlover 5 years ago

          He was great in 09 and sucked hard in 10 – perhaps due to that injury early on in the season? Even in the minors, he sucked and hasn’t recovered at all. He is also changed his delivery so it may take some time before he shows improvement but I agree, unfortunately most Jays fan think he is just a bullpen arm or 5th starter at best.

        • Sniderlover 5 years ago

          He was great in 09 and sucked hard in 10 – perhaps due to that injury early on in the season? Even in the minors, he sucked and hasn’t recovered at all. He is also changed his delivery so it may take some time before he shows improvement but I agree, unfortunately most Jays fan think he is just a bullpen arm or 5th starter at best.

      • moonraker45 5 years ago

        I agree with that, although I think Rzepchynski is a lot better than he has shown this year.. I was just merely making the case that there is already some pretty stiff competition for the 5th spot..Tallet should be cut lose this offseason, especially with Cito gone I cant anticipate Tallet coming back.. and forgot about richmond, but realistically he has no chance

    • I guess Scott Richmond and Bryan Tallet have already been eliminated from the competition.

      In all honesty, Drabek is the only one on that list that I have any confidence in for next year, with the possible exception of Brad Mills. I think Stewart still needs some time.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      I do agree with a comment below that Rzepczynski is a better pitcher than he has shown this year, but I don’t think he’s suited to be in the rotation, but rather be a late innings RP. Brad Mills is a long-man to me [Anthopolous did say too that he wants to build his rotation with power-arms]. Marcum could also be a commodity this winter.

      Harden, though injured often, would look good in a Jays uniform in the 5th spot.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      I do agree with a comment below that Rzepczynski is a better pitcher than he has shown this year, but I don’t think he’s suited to be in the rotation, but rather be a late innings RP. Brad Mills is a long-man to me [Anthopolous did say too that he wants to build his rotation with power-arms]. Marcum could also be a commodity this winter.

      Harden, though injured often, would look good in a Jays uniform in the 5th spot.

  7. myname_989 5 years ago

    I can see the Phillies buying low on a guy who can compete for the fifth starter’s spot. If there is someone out there that they can get to accept a contract with a lot of incentives, but low base, I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Of course, that guy will most likely be Jamie Moyer, but a guy like Jeff Francis really intrigues me.

    • In essence, that is what they did with Chan Ho Park a year ago. It worked out, since Park was solid in the pen. They then took a shot on Pedro Martinez and that also worked out for them.But what the Phillies need is depth at SP, as their staff ages. Kyle Kendrick is clearly not the ideal option there. Vance Worley might be an option, but there is no one else in their system close to being ready to compete. If one of their top four were to suffer an injury, it would be difficult to replace them internally.That being said, at the right price, Jeff Francis or Justin Duchscherer would be a nice gamble to build some depth. In recent years, the Phillies have had guys like Nelson Figueroa and Rodrigo Lopez to fill spot starts. They probably need to add a couple of arms to bolster their AAA backups.

    • In essence, that is what they did with Chan Ho Park a year ago. It worked out, since Park was solid in the pen. They then took a shot on Pedro Martinez and that also worked out for them.But what the Phillies need is depth at SP, as their staff ages. Kyle Kendrick is clearly not the ideal option there. Vance Worley might be an option, but there is no one else in their system close to being ready to compete. If one of their top four were to suffer an injury, it would be difficult to replace them internally.That being said, at the right price, Jeff Francis or Justin Duchscherer would be a nice gamble to build some depth. In recent years, the Phillies have had guys like Nelson Figueroa and Rodrigo Lopez to fill spot starts. They probably need to add a couple of arms to bolster their AAA backups.

  8. myname_989 5 years ago

    I can see the Phillies buying low on a guy who can compete for the fifth starter’s spot. If there is someone out there that they can get to accept a contract with a lot of incentives, but low base, I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Of course, that guy will most likely be Jamie Moyer, but a guy like Jeff Francis really intrigues me.

  9. Pedro Martinez should probably be tossed into this list, even though it’s unclear whether he will ever pitch again.

    The Cardinals definitely have a history of this type of arm. Don’t forget John Smoltz last year as well.

  10. Pedro Martinez should probably be tossed into this list, even though it’s unclear whether he will ever pitch again.

    The Cardinals definitely have a history of this type of arm. Don’t forget John Smoltz last year as well.

  11. Motor_City_Bombshell 5 years ago

    Doesn’t every team have interest in potential upside starters?
    If they don’t, they should. Haha

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      Well the Red Sox have Buchholz, Lester, Beckett, Lackey, and Dice K signed for next season so they won’t be in the market for a starter.

      • Motor_City_Bombshell 5 years ago

        I hear ya, it was just my general thinking.

  12. Hermie13 5 years ago

    I would add the Indians to this list. They signed Kevin Milwood in 2005 to a 1-year deal after he was coming off an injury and signed Carl Pavano before the 2009 season coming off 4 years of injuries.

    Both signings worked out well (Milwood won the AL ERA title in 2005).

    Shapiro has hinted at wanting a vet of some sort in the rotation and talked about bringing Westbrook back. But with how well the young guys have pitched, Antonetti (the new GM for next season) may want a 1-year guy (though maybe we could get Jake for 1 year) as to not be bogged down by a contract.

    Tribe is looking like they’ll have some money to play with should they choose. They’ve got a nice array of bullpen arms plus with Sizemore and Santana coming back the only real hole on offense is 3B. Probably going to let Nix and a few other internal guys fight over it til Chisenhall is ready.

    So the only money they may spend (other than their own guys like Choo and AC) is the rotation.

  13. sacu 5 years ago

    Ben, how could you possibly leave the A’s off this list? After all, cheap with potential of having high-upside is the story of Billy’s life.

    • Oakland would have to trade one of their young starters. Vin Mazzaro would be the most likely to go, but I doubt Billy Beane has given up on him.

      • sacu 5 years ago

        Didn’t mean to like, but rather to reply. Why would Oakland have to trade someone in order to sign someone? This is Oakland we are talking about. Don’t tell me you actually think all of Oakland’s starters are going to be healthy next year. Even as a die hard Oakland fan, I know better. Besides, if they plan on acquiring a bat via trade they’re going to have to give up talent to get real talent.

      • sacu 5 years ago

        Didn’t mean to like, but rather to reply. Why would Oakland have to trade someone in order to sign someone? This is Oakland we are talking about. Don’t tell me you actually think all of Oakland’s starters are going to be healthy next year. Even as a die hard Oakland fan, I know better. Besides, if they plan on acquiring a bat via trade they’re going to have to give up talent to get real talent.

    • Oakland would have to trade one of their young starters. Vin Mazzaro would be the most likely to go, but I doubt Billy Beane has given up on him.

  14. sacu 5 years ago

    Ben, how could you possibly leave the A’s off this list? After all, cheap with potential of having high-upside is the story of Billy’s life.

  15. slr5607 5 years ago

    The Dodgers are going to need to go out and buy themselves a Starting Rotation. Kershaw is solid, but Billingsly is more suited for a #3 or #4 spot in the rotation. If they were able to buy a front-line guy like Lee and then take a risk on someone like Webb, they might be able to contend in the NL West with the Giants, Rockies and Padres. They would still need to pick someone else like Zach Duke if he was non-tendered.

  16. Smrtbusnisman04 5 years ago

    The Pirates should strongly consider Brandon Webb. If it were up to me, I would sign him to a $12 mil/2 yr deal. The Pirates rotation could be great with Webb, Mcdonald, and a healthy Ross Ohlendorf.

  17. Smrtbusnisman04 5 years ago

    The Pirates should strongly consider Brandon Webb. If it were up to me, I would sign him to a $12 mil/2 yr deal. The Pirates rotation could be great with Webb, Mcdonald, and a healthy Ross Ohlendorf.

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