Poll: Best Remaining Free Agent Starting Pitcher

Pitchers and catchers are due to report in about three weeks, and by now all of the high-end free agents have come off the board. Heck, even second tier options have signed by now. That leaves just reclamation-type projects and players with considerable flaws, especially when it comes to pitching.

As MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows, starters like Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Bonderman, Freddy Garcia, Doug Davis, Rodrigo Lopez, Todd Wellemeyer and Brian Moehler remain unsigned. Andy Pettitte is clearly the best of the unsigned bunch, but it's the Yankees or retirement for him, and right now it looks like the latter is winning out. Neither Pedro Martinez, Braden Looper, or Jarrod Washburn have appeared in a big league game in over a year. John Maine, Justin Duchscherer and Jamie Moyer are coming off injuries, Tommy John surgery in Moyer's case.

There are still a number of teams looking for rotation help, including the Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, Pirates and Indians. Which of those unsigned starters represents the best option?

63 Responses to Poll: Best Remaining Free Agent Starting Pitcher Leave a Reply

  1. iains 5 years ago

    Where’s the none of the above?

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Do what I do every election day. Don’t vote.

    • 55saveslives 5 years ago

      What, you don’t like Wellemeyer???


  2. BravesRed 5 years ago

    I think J.D. Martin is the best available.

  3. bonestock94 5 years ago

    How about “Least Crappy Remaining Free Agent Starting Pitcher?”

  4. elbaumel 5 years ago

    Pettitte may return… & as of now… it’s tough for me to choose any of these guys as “best” of anything

  5. Glv80 5 years ago


  6. quintjs 5 years ago

    What % of people voting for Millwood, Bonderman or Garcia didn’t go down the list to read Duchscherer?

    • Flharfh 5 years ago

      Duchsherer is the best in terms of upside, but I would pick Millwood as the one most likely to contribute a significant number of decent innings.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Couldn’t agree more. And if I ran a team that was in desperate need of pitching, I would probably be after both of those guys. I doubt it would cost more than $3 million guaranteed.

      • pollbuster2 5 years ago

        Millwood is likely to be one who has a hard time getting out of the first inning.

  7. alxn 5 years ago

    i just threw up in my mouth a little bit

  8. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 5 years ago

    Brian Moehler? Really? How in the world could anyone possibly think he’s better than any of these guys?

    • nick1538 5 years ago

      and yet, he got 20 votes!

      • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 5 years ago

        Brian must have made 20 of his own accounts to repeatedly vote for himself!

    • He could help out a young rotation by teaching them how to hide substances in their glove to alter the ball.

  9. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    Why would anyone want any of these starters?

  10. Dave Bush’s name should be in there. At least he was starting consistently. Starting, not pitching well every time, but starting at the very least.

    • Bush is a good back-of-rotation guy – not a star, but he gets on good runs here and there. I liked him in Milwaukee.

      • daveineg 5 years ago

        It’s astounding how Bush is not on this list. He’s certainly better than half the names on it.

        • harmony55 5 years ago

          I was about to write the same thing. David Bush is an innings-eater who posted an ERA of 4.54 last season.

  11. Guest 5 years ago

    It’s nice to see I’m not the only person who still believes in Justin Duchscherer. Any team still in need of starting pitching would be crazy not to offer him $1 million, or so, plus incentives. So much upside! The health concerns go without saying, but when he’s out there, he is always really good.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Personally, I believe in Harvey Dent.

    • Very rarely does he actually pitch a game 😉

    • nick1538 5 years ago

      He has been an All Star as both a reliever and starter, so he should be able to contribute somewhere.

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      kenny williams should be calling this guy. He has experience starting and in the pen…in other words the perfect guy for the sox right now..leavin sale as the closer and justin can start untill peavy comes back and then move to the pen

  12. JamesOrLurch 5 years ago

    Who the hell voted for Wellemeyer?

  13. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    how serious is John Maine’s injury?

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Fatal – ’cause all his biggest problems are in his head.

      • MetsFanXXIII 5 years ago

        Remember, he’s a “habitual liar” when it comes to his health.

  14. Dave Bush is better than Millwood and Lopez… As much upside as Duchsherer in that both these guys can have dominant performances from time to time. I think both of them would benefit from having a veteran pitching coach and/or manager.

  15. okbluejays 5 years ago

    They could all help the Yankees starting rotation out!

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      not really.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      You mean “help” the Yankees starting rotation out [thereby helping the Jays in the process – yes?!]. I like it!! :)

  16. churumba 5 years ago

    All scrubs, bad vote for any of them. Why isn’t there “none” category???

  17. JesseH 5 years ago

    Garcia , Lopez, and Dave Bush could help a 70 win team reach 90.

  18. jwsox 5 years ago

    freddy garcia was actually by the number one of the top 5 5th starts in the entire league last year and will likely find his way back to his brother in laws team the whitesox as the 5th untill peavy comes back and either traded or sit on the bench and the “emergency starter” in other words once peavy comes back freddy will just hang out and be another pitching coach

  19. So let me see… If I had to pick one of these turds it would be hard.

    *Millwood the AL loss leader, in fairness he can eat innings, but his ERA will be in the neighborhood of 5+.

    *Bonderman has not pitched effectively in nearly two and half seasons. This kid’s talent has never been questioned, but his skill set at this time is marginal at best. He may be hanging out with Gil Meche sooner than later.

    *Garcia has pitched as expected the past few years. And you can expect him to be a solid #4 or #5. He is what he is and doesn’t have much upside.

    *Doug Davis is left handed and the league knows it. He has gotten hit hard over the past year and half. Holds runners well, but he can’t stay healthy. And when he is healthy, he loses more often than not.

    * Rodrigo Lopez is not an option for many teams who are looking for good pitching. I know Arizona is a cracker jack box, but to get that hard by those teams in the light hitting NL West is troubling.

    *Todd Wellenmeyer is the luckiest guy in the bigs over the past few years. He has been on some of the more dominant staffs in all of baseball. Unfortunately, he didn’t’ contribute much to those staffs. He is a #5 at best.

    *Brian Moehler is a starting pitcher in MLB? Is he? Cause if you look at his numbers he isn’t a very good one. Too old. Too high ERA.

    *John Maine is 29 but does he still have that desire to be great. He has a great frame and all the pitches to get hitters out consistently. He is worthy of this list.

    *Justin Duchscherer is a two time all-star and has had success in each role. However this past season, there were rumors of Suicide and Social Anxiety issues. Give him credit he notified the A’s and ask for help. But he might be more like Bill Lee than we want to believe. If happy and healthy. . . Who wouldn’t want an All-Star Pitcher with closer, setup and starter experience?

    Dave Bush, JD Martin, and even Bruce Chen are worthy of this list.

    But the best pitcher available is Justin Duscherer. He may need some extra attention, but so did Josh Hamilton. Hire a “spiritual” advisor or whatever and you may get a big return on a small investment. TEXAS or OAKLAND are likely destinations.

  20. O’s need to move Pie or reimold and tillman for lowe and schafer then sign Vlad and Duchscherer.

    C- Wieters
    1B- Lee
    2B- Roberts
    SS- Hardy
    3B- Reynolds
    LF- Scott
    CF- Jones
    RF- Markakis
    DH- Vlad

    Bergesen – your 6th starter or when or if Duchscherer goes down he is your 5th starter.

    Put Schafer in AAA to make sure he is healthy and if he is bring him up and he backs up the whole OF. Platoon Reimold with Scott in LF (assuming the Braves would want Pie due to him filling the CF void they have) Dont know about you but I think that team looks pretty good!!

    • Or move Bergesen instead of Tillman. Bergesen is father along than Tillman as is Pie than Schafer. Bergesen is one year removed from a 7-5 3.43 ERA in 2009 in the AL East. Think he would fit in behind Hudson,Hanson, Jurrjens as a good #4 and you get the upgrade at CF you are lookikng for. Lets face it McLouth SUCKS and Pie I think has a higher ceiling and is farther along than Schafer plus I think this would save the Braves some money and give the O’s the kind of P they are looking for.

    • What are you smoking? The Braves would never make this deal.

  21. Gumby65 5 years ago

    If it came to voting for best presentation of a legendary delivery with minor league results, it goes to Rodrigo Lopez for his stunning portrayal of Greg Maddux.

  22. Braves1976 5 years ago

    I’d like to see the Braves sign Justin Duchscherer if he comes cheap enough. We may need to move KK first though, then hopefully trade Lowe before the season starts. We could also consider adding another pitcher on the cheap if Lowe is moved. Though we have good depth including Minor, Beachy, etc.

  23. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    vernon wells

  24. optionn 5 years ago

    If these guys were arbitration eligible and younger they’d be banking 5million or more. The young players get paid a heck of a lot more than these guys even if they are no good. Guys like Guthrie in Baltimore.

  25. i think people are really sleeping on todd wellemeyer…he my boy!

  26. You guys are morons its all about brian moehler!!!!!

    I remember watching him pitch for the tigers as a kid when he got caught with sandpaper or something in his glove.

  27. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Best consistent as in u know is going to go 5 innings and get hammered? The only FA in that entire list that remotely deserves a spot on a *contending* teams rotation is Duscherer and even HE should be a reliever. Not a one of them should be a starter on anyone, except for the likes of the Pirates of MLB.

  28. Lunchbox45 5 years ago

    so does george bush

  29. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Have you seen who holds elected positions? Rand Paul alone proves my point.

  30. Maybe I don’t understand your point. You seem to be implying that Rand Paul is a nutjob. Not sure how not voting helps prevent guys like him from being elected.

  31. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    To paraphrase a quote from Douglas Adams’ “Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” Those who have the ability to get elected should never be elected. They’re all either nuts, self interested jerks, power hungry hypocrites, shills for a business, or some combination of these. If it’s not a crazy person like Rand Paul, it’d be another psycho.

  32. I understand the despondency (and appreciate the Douglas Adams reference), I guess I just don’t see how apathy is an effective solution.

    Oh well.

  33. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    You drank the kool-aid

  34. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Alright, let me put it this way: Every election day we get a choice between pepsi and coke, their backers spend a lot of money to convince you how different they are and how much the other product is awful but in the end you get the exact same thing. A sugary brown liquid that in the long run is bad for you.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think apathy is a solution and honestly I won’t try to sell my views as one. I just think the most democratic thing I can do as an individual is walk away.

  35. Fair enough. I guess I just don’t see how declining to participate is an effective solution.

  36. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    It isn’t, but I don’t see how choosing between jerks is an effective solution.

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