Who’s Looking For Starting Pitching?

We're a week from the Winter Meetings, and starting pitchers Jon Garland, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, Javier Vazquez, and Jake Westbrook have already signed – three of them with the Dodgers.  For the many teams that can't afford Cliff Lee, it's down to Jorge de la Rosa, Carl Pavano, and a field of comeback candidates or back-rotation arms.  Let's take a look at which teams are in the market.

  • Astros – They subtracted Felipe Paulino, and have been linked to Brandon McCarthy and Jeff Francis.  GM Ed Wade explained earlier this month that he'd like to add someone on a one-year deal similar to the Brett Myers contract.
  • Athletics – They showed their desire to add starting pitching by bidding $19.1MM for the right to negotiate with Hisashi Iwakuma.  If they're unable to reach a deal with him by Wednesday of next week, the A's could check out the free agent market.  They're known to be interested in McCarthy.
  • Brewers – They're in on McCarthy, Francis, and Jarrod Washburn, but are expected to focus on trade possibilities as they look to add a starter or two.
  • Cubs – The Cubs have five starters, but could add insurance with Jeremy Bonderman, Aaron Harang, Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, or Brandon Webb.
  • Diamondbacks – They were linked to McCarthy prior to acquiring Zach Duke.  With their front four settled, I expect them to worry about other needs.
  • Mariners – They've been linked to McCarthy and Jeff Francis, suggesting they're targeting injury comeback candidates.
  • Mets – The rumor mill has been quiet, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post can see them getting in on a reclamation-project starter in the new year.
  • Nationals – The Nationals are seeking pitching by trade, free agency, or both.  They're in on Lee, De La Rosa, Webb, and Pavano at the least.
  • Orioles – They apparently have tepid interest in De La Rosa, and have been linked to position players more frequently this offseason.
  • Padres – Garland's gone and Kevin Correia is a free agent.  The Padres have been linked to McCarthy and will probably seek late bargains.
  • Pirates – They seem very likely to sign some kind of free agent starter this winter.  They've moved on from Duke and are eyeing Scott Olsen, De La Rosa, Webb, and Francis.
  • Rangers – They could move Neftali Feliz to the rotation, but the top priority is signing Lee.  If Lee signs elsewhere they're expected to look into Zack Greinke.  They're known to be in on Webb, and happen to employ Webb's surgeon Dr. Keith Meister as the team physician.
  • Reds – They've been loosely linked to Webb based mainly on geography, but already made a big commitment to Bronson Arroyo and don't have a ton of spending money.
  • Rockies – They're likely to add a starter and are in on Webb and Francis.  They could also look at trades and lesser free agents, but at least they've added Paulino.
  • Royals – The Royals cut Brian Bannister and are interested in Kevin Millwood, to name one option.  If Kyle Davies is non-tendered on Thursday that would heighten their need.
  • Tigers – They seem content with their rotation options, but they were among the seven clubs linked to McCarthy.
  • Twins – They'll need an arm, possibly Pavano.  They placed a bid on Iwakuma and have been tied to Webb.  Washburn could also work.
  • White Sox – They haven't been linked to anyone, and appear to be in good shape even with Jake Peavy missing the beginning of the season given the possibility of moving Chris Sale into the rotation.  However, I won't rule Kenny Williams out if he finds one of the aforementioned free agent arms intriguing.
  • Yankees – They're the favorites for Lee, and Andy Pettitte might be leaning toward a return.  The Yankees are not expected to participate in the next bracket of free agent starters if one of those options falls through, and the trade market is barren if Greinke is off-limits.
  • The Angels, Blue Jays, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Marlins, Phillies, Rays, and Red Sox have either stayed out of the rumor mill or already made their additions.  Still, it would not be a shock for some of these teams to add starting pitching.


23 Responses to Who’s Looking For Starting Pitching? Leave a Reply

  1. stl_cards16 5 years ago

    A slow Monday after a long weekend, a boring MNF matchup tonight…..Come on Hot Stove! Don’t let me down today.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      I believe tomorrow is the last day for FA to accept or decline arbitration so it should pick up soon.

  2. rockfordone 5 years ago

    Should the White Sox sign “Big Game Freddie”???????

  3. moonraker45 5 years ago

    It must be nice for the few GM’s with rotations already set for the upcoming season…

    at least for 1 year they don’t have to fight to over pay the scraps that is mlb free agency .

  4. Gurvir Nijjar 5 years ago

    i think the blue jays need to aquire zach greincke today

  5. are the brewers at all interested in Brandon Webb? if not, why???

  6. The Padres priority this off season is to “stabilize the starting pitching rotation”. With the loss of Garland, they need a true innings eater. The Padres GM Jed Hoyer also wanted a top of the rotation starter. Sure, they could wait for bargains much like they did last year; but I believe Chris Young has a decent chance at coming back to try regain his value in the extreme pitching confines of Petco park at a discount.

    Kevin Millwood would be a very solid fit and probably put up much more favorable numbers getting away from the AL, DH and pitchers parks in general. McCarthy makes sense but I don’t see the Padres relying on pitcher (given Hoyer’s emphasis) with his injury history. Like Chris Young, McCarthy has had a tough time getting out on the field. Having said that, the Padres will look for more than just late off season bargains when it comes to pitching. Aaron Harang and Vincent Padilla could also be relatively cheap attractive options that could fit. Seeing as Hoyer’s emphasis is on pitching, “stabilizing the rotation” and defense, I don’t see the Padres waiting as aforementioned.

  7. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    How many years does Washburn have to be removed from pitching the in majors before I can stop hearing his name linked to the Twins?

    • Probably more than one, for example two.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        I can only pray you’re right.”Once baseball writers stop using his name” would have also been an acceptably smart-head response.

  8. MetsEventually 5 years ago

    Mets should be looking intro Chris Young…fly ball pitcher…low risk/high reward…

    • I agree, even throwing his FB 84-88 he misses bats. If healthy he could be a good fit.

      • MetsEventually 5 years ago

        In time he’ll get back some velocity though, right?

        • jimboslice9 5 years ago

          He’s always been a light thrower though, so at best he’ll probably be somewhere between 87-92 with his FB when he builds his velocity back up, if he does.

        • As “Jimboslice9″ posts he’s never thrown “hard”. However, there is noway he all of a sudden starts throwing in the 90’s consistently again. He will be in between 86-89MPH.

          • MetsEventually 5 years ago

            I’m now hoping this deal isn’t just a rumor….

  9. Sky14 5 years ago

    You would think Brandon Mccarthy was better than cliff lee with all the teams that want him, I am intrigued by a low cost signing of him and see if he can bring back the hype he had years back

  10. I hope the Tigers will not remain content with their rotation. They are assembling a very good lineup (need another OF) and could have a very good and deep bullpen (Valverde, Benoit, Zumaya, Perry, Schlereth), but a rotation of Verlander/Scherzer/Porcello/Coke/Galarraga leaves a lot to be desired in terms of depth and reliability at the backend. An innings-eater in the #4 slot (Garland would have been nice) would be great, as would a ‘project’ of some sort like McCarthy. Need some depth.

  11. MB923 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t exactly call the Yankees the favorites for Lee. In terms of who’s going to offer Lee the most money, clearly the Yankees are the favorites. But in landing Lee, I’d still say it’s about 50/50 with the Rangers, or maybe 49.9/49.9 and 0.2 elsewhere

  12. lefty177 5 years ago

    i know i might get bashed for this but am i the only one on here that feels that Correia is severely underrated?

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