Potentially Available Starters

As two of their top starters look to recover from Spring Training setbacks, the Brewers are considering the idea of acquiring a starting pitcher through a trade or waiver claim. However, they say they're more likely to call on an internal candidate, like Wily PeraltaMarco EstradaEulogio de la Cruz or Tim Dillard.

It's easy to see why the Brewers aren't eager to spend on a pitcher like Doug Davis or Kevin MillwoodZack Greinke probably won't be out for long and Shaun Marcum's shoulder stiffness could disappear soon, so investing millions in a pitcher who won't have a job in a few weeks wouldn't make much sense.

But GM Doug Melvin is eyeing pitchers on other teams and surely other GMs are doing the same. Here's a preliminary, speculative list of starting pitchers who could be available this spring:

  • Kevin Slowey – The Twins are willing to listen to offers for Slowey. If they trade him, Scott Baker could take the fifth starter's job in Minnesota.
  • Glen Perkins* – Perkins is battling for a spot in the Twins' pen, though he started 26 games in 2008 and 17 the following year. Like many Twins pitchers, Perkins limits walks (career 2.3 BB/9) without striking many out (career 4.7 K/9).
  • Bartolo Colon/Freddy Garcia – Both non-roster invitees have impressed this spring, so they could end up in the Yankees' rotation, rather than on the trading block.
  • Carlos Silva - It has been a frustrating spring for Silva, who could see Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner win the two open spots at the back of the Cubs' rotation. But Silva posted a 4.22 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 113 innings last year, so he could have appeal despite his his $11.5MM salary. Perhaps Todd Wellemeyer could also become trade bait.
  • Rodrigo Lopez - Lopez may see Brandon Beachy or Mike Minor win the Braves' last rotation spot, in which case he'd be out of a job. Someone would figure to inquire on Lopez, who logged 200 innings in 2010. Kenshin Kawakami also remains available, but he'll earn $6.67MM in 2011.
  • Joe Blanton – Blanton's availability has been well-documented. One obstacle for potentially interested teams: the right-hander's $8.5MM salary in 2011 and 2012.
  • John Maine - Esmil Rogers could win the fifth spot in the Rockies' rotation over Maine, who has a June 1st opt-out clause.
  • Jo-Jo Reyes* – As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained earlier in the month, the out-of-options left-hander is a possible trade candidate.
  • Ryan Rowland-Smith* – The former starter is battling for a spot in the Astros' bullpen now that Nelson Figueroa has won their final rotation spot. 
  • Jeff Suppan – The Brewers scored six runs in one inning against their former teammate last week. It's pretty difficult to imagine a deal here.
  • Under other circumstances, we could consider Tim Wakefield a trade candidate, since he won't necessarily make the Red Sox. It's not easy to imagine Boston trading the knuckleballer, though.

*denotes out of options player.


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40 Comments on "Potentially Available Starters"


4 years 5 months ago

I really like Baker, I’ve wished for a while the Dodgers would get him. He seems really underrated.

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

post fail

4 years 5 months ago

over the past 3 years his K/9 has been around 7.5 and his career is 7.07. He doesn’t walk people and his xFIP hovers around 4. The guy is seriously underrated. I’m not sure about his contract but the Twins seem not to be fond of him. I would rather take him over Slowey.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

Signed through 2012 (11.5 total) with an option for 2013 (9.25). I’d say the Twins are more not fond of Slowey than Baker. Baker has his flaws, which usually involve HR’s and repeatedly throwing a high fastball which hitters just foul off until he makes a mistake.

I don’t see them getting rid of him. I see him winning the final spot in the rotation. I do think he’s better than he’s shown, but he’s frustrating because you can know that but the results don’t follow.

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

thats my bad, for some reason I thought you said Slowey not baker.

So my post is a fail

4 years 5 months ago

No worries.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 5 months ago

Scott Baker “could take the fifth starter” job in Minnesota? Isn’t he already a member, in pretty good standing, in that rotation?

The Brewers should get in touch with the Braves. Rodrigo Lopez would be fine for a stop gap-if it’s for the whole season, I think they should aim higher.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

Nope, he’s fighting between the 5th spot or a bullpen spot. Most Twins fans believe the rotation spot is his to lose and it should be.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 5 months ago

Well, knock me over with a feather. I haven’t been following the Twins this spring, and I know in the past they were upset with Baker for various reasons, but I thought that was over.

Maybe Baker’s the one they should trade then.

PostMoBills
4 years 5 months ago

Personally I think they should keep them all, because no team has gotten through a season with only 5 starters ever. But yeah, Duensing’s great play has locked him into the rotation with Pavano and Liriano. Gardenhire named Blackburn as the 4th starter so Baker and Slowey are in competition to open the season in the 5th spot.

adieuordie
4 years 5 months ago

Seattle, 2003. Moyer, Pineiro, Franklin, Garcia, Meche made all their starts.

Just sayin’.

qudjy1
4 years 5 months ago

Gotta wonder if A. Gallaraga might be part of this list soon too… Dbacks might go with Kennedy, Hudson, Saunders, Heilman, Enright. AG has been pretty bad this spring, and heilman has actually been ok…

Vmmercan
4 years 5 months ago

Not for anything but Garcia’s ERA is over 5.00 after his last start…Not exactly “impressing”. He never has a good spring, so I wouldn’t call it bad, but that’s a little bit of a stretch, no? Colon on the other hand, has been good all spring and threw 6 innings of one run ball against a pretty good Tampa lineup and was hitting 93 at the end of his start today.

That. Is impressive.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

I like Colon or Garcia for a stop-gap for the injured Grienke, but by the time the trade is done, they wont have much time to get with the catches or the team.

johnsilver
4 years 5 months ago

Not sure what is the funniest. Colon starting for some team, or a team actually TRADING for him to start for them…

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t see why people would think of using any of the guys mentioned up there. I definitely disagree with anyone using Jo-Jo or any others who have essentially turned themselves into BP guys. Then again you could use them for the whole year. I almost don’t care who they pick, 4-5 starts is a small sample size so luck may be a bigger factor than actual skill.

jnolan33177
4 years 5 months ago

Wish someone would take Blanton already!!! Sheeshhh!!

JacksTigers
4 years 5 months ago

Not sure that “stars” is the right word.

JacksTigers
4 years 5 months ago

Damn. I screwed up again. What is wrong with me today?

MaineluvstheSox
4 years 5 months ago

These guys are #5 starters. Give some of your rookies a chance for crying out loud.

phoenix2042
4 years 5 months ago

Colon has 17 strike outs in 15 innings with one walk and has allowed 4 runs on 10 hits. that’s pretty impressive. He impressed in winter ball and is hitting the low to mid 90s with his FB. Teams could do a lot worse for their 5th starter.

dc21892
4 years 5 months ago

That’s nothing to get too excited about. It’s spring training. Whether someone is doing good or bad, you have to evalute the whole situation. If he tears it up toward the end of spring when teams begin putting their full lineups out there, sure. As of right now, it means nothing.

phoenix2042
4 years 5 months ago

He did very well tonight facing most of Tampa’s lineup. I am really more impressed by his K/BB ratio and increased velocity. He could be effective for 100-150 innings if he stays healthy.

dc21892
4 years 5 months ago

Could be. Real tests will be in his next start and the regular season.

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

its not as if he doesn’t have a track record of success. .

Bernaldo
4 years 5 months ago

. . . and a track record of injuries!

johnsilver
4 years 5 months ago

I’m not saying that Colon may not come out of the gate.. Throw a couple of 5 inning starts of decent ball and hit 92-94mph.. He has done it before and as Sox fans know.. he did it there, Then his back will go, his attitude will follow and then Colon will wind up on the DL and out of the game for another year, making a comeback like he is this year.

Colon was a serious talent 5 years ago..Maybe top 2-3 in the league, but his weight and arm injuries have pretty much wiped that out except for the 2-3 games he looks like is able to throw every other year 5 innings at a time.

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 5 months ago

Barring a catastrophe, Colon is in line for that #5 spot and if he can keep his velocity where it is and command like it is, he should be a fine #5 guy

hawkny1
4 years 5 months ago

Timmy,
Go home, go hunting..

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 5 months ago

Oh, joy! I see that the Astros have given the 5th starter spot to Nelson Figueroa! He’s not a great pitcher but he’s certainly good enough for the 5th starter spot. He has been for quite sometime. I’m glad that at the age of 37 someone is just going to let him have the spot for the season.

I can’t help but root for a guy like him who continued to toil in obscurity for over a decade to get this chance. Now Houston’s going to give it to him. I hope it works out for Figueroa and the Astros.

BobbyJohn
4 years 5 months ago

I was very high on the John Maine signing by O’Dowd this winter and still am. He’s letting the ball go well and seems to just need some time to refine his control a bit. Either way, he’s pretty cheap insurance or a possible trade chip ahead of June 1 when he can opt out if not on the major league roster for the Rockies.

woadude
4 years 5 months ago

At first it looked like the Cubs came out on top of the toxic contract swap as Milton was Milton and Silva went 5-0 and was looking at being really good, looks like its Milton’s turn, watch him have a really awesome April and by May explode into a psychotic frenzy and be released by June 1st.

daveineg
4 years 5 months ago

Greinke is only going to miss 3 or 4 starts. The Brewers might well be looking more for a swing man type that can be sent back to the pen when Greinke returns. This is likely especially since Parra’s been slowed this spring. I think they are satisfied with Narveson as the 5th starter. If they make a move it will be a minor one such as a waiver claim on a guy who’s out of options. I don’t see them getting a “name” guy with a lot of mileage.

4 years 5 months ago

How did it get to be taken as common knowledge that Joe Blanton is overpaid with an unmovable contract? He’s no great shakes, but he has been worth an average of 2.0 WAR per year over the last three years, which would price him at $10 mil, using this offseason’s $5 mil/WAR going rate. Fangraphs has his average value at $8.7 mil over the past three years.

No, he’s not an exciting player. Yes, the Phils could probably benefit, in terms of payroll flexibility, by moving him.

He’s not exactly Ollie Perez,. He’s 30 and healthy, and eats innings at a steady rate, putting up WAR that balance well against his salary as he does so. It baffles me why he gets treated as such dead weight.

Pete
4 years 5 months ago

Did Pedro retire yet?

hscphillyboy
4 years 5 months ago

So is Pascual…..if he can find his way off of the freewway!!

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

Pedro would need time to get ready and by that time Grienke would be better.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 5 months ago

Well, I was only talking about acquiring Rodrigo Lopez. The Braves appear to have better options; the Brewers do not, at least to start the season.

The Brewers don’t get a lot of TV revenue, but they have drawn around 3 million the last few seasons so there’s that. But you’re right. A team like the Braves that’s this close really should have done more in the off season. I don’t follow the Braves much, so maybe they tried.

4 years 5 months ago

Or maybe the Braves will have 16 or 17 people off their 25-man roster that are still within their six years of team control, so their payroll doesn’t need to be bloated with an excess amount of big salaries because they have a lot of cost-controlled players on the squad.

A few of these players (McCann, Uggla, and McLouth) got contracts (McLouth’s was signed in Pittsburgh), but most of these players are making league minimum or a pretty low arbitration salary. It’s smart money management and will allow the Braves to sign all these folks to extensions when they hit arbitration or lock them up before they become free agents.

With about $15MM coming off the books next season because of McLouth and Kawakami and another $15MM annual leaving after 2012 with Lowe, the Braves are set to start making moves to eliminate any glaring holes they may have in upcoming seasons and lock up the players they need to. If Chipper should go, there’s another $13MM for 2012 and $7MM for 2013. Oh, and they have the third-best farm system with a ton of starting pitching, the most coveted commodity in the league.

So, after taking a good long, deep look at what is not going on, I’ve found that what’s not going on is signing the future Mo Vaughn to a $25MM annual contract thru 2017. Sound move, Frank Wren.

-C

4 years 5 months ago

And yet they’ll still probably have three more studs than the Phillies will during those years.

-C