Potentially Available Starting Pitchers

There could be as many as a dozen sellers when the trade deadline approaches in late July.  Almost everyone else will be seeking starting pitching; let's take a look at who might be available.

  • Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles: On May 29th, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote, "The Baltimore people insist Guthrie is going nowhere, that he’s very much a part of the team’s plans. But not many are buying it."  The 32-year-old righty earns $5.75MM this year and is under team control for 2012.
  • John Danks, White Sox: Danks had a rough month of May, and his SIERA sits at 4.62.  Given his track record I think the Sox will keep him in the rotation and wait for him to turn things around.  He's under team control through '12 and should earn a good buck next year.  It'd make sense for GM Kenny Williams to listen, but Danks would be tough to move with Edwin Jackson and Mark Buehrle up for free agency after the season.
  • Edwin Jackson, White Sox: EJax has been his inconsistent self this year, posting some strong efforts but also allowing 10.5 hits per nine innings.  If he's sent to the bullpen, some team might have a chance to buy low.
  • Jeff Francis, Royals: Francis has been healthy and has performed acceptably for the Royals this year.  He'll earn only $4MM if he hits all his incentives, so the price is right for any contender.  The Royals may also deem Kyle Davies and Bruce Chen expendable, if they get healthy.
  • Carl Pavano, Twins: Pavano earns $8MM this year and $8.5MM in 2012.  His declining strikeout rate makes you wonder if he's more of a 5.00 ERA than a 4.00 guy, but I still think he'd generate mild trade interest.
  • Francisco Liriano, Twins: Liriano is appealing for his ace upside, and he expects to return next week from a DL stint for shoulder inflammation.  Liriano is more than a rental, and he'll be a wild card if the Twins make him available.
  • Kevin Slowey, Twins: Slowey is rehabbing an abdomen strain, after which he'll return to Triple-A and to starting.  The flyballing right-hander sounds like he wouldn't mind a trade, and with his stock down he might not require much.
  • Mike Pelfrey, Mets: Pelfrey is looking like Pavano with worse control.  Though he's under team control through 2013, his salary is already close to $4MM and he could get pricey in arbitration.
  • R.A. Dickey, Mets: The knuckleballer can be controlled affordably through 2013, and the Mets probably prefer to retain him.  But he is showing that last year was not a fluke and he would draw trade interest.
  • Chris Capuano, Mets: Capuano has been solid, though I'm not sure how much of their rotation the Mets want to dismantle.  Capuano may be the most expendable since he's a free agent after the season.  He'd be a nice fit for a team with a big ballpark.
  • Livan Hernandez, Nationals: Hernandez continues to get it done with his 84 mile per hour fastball. He's earning a base salary of only $1MM on an extension signed last August.  I imagine he'd prefer to stay and the Nats won't be especially motivated to move him.
  • Jason Marquis, Nationals: Marquis is earning $7.5MM and is more likely to go.  He seems recovered from last year's elbow injury, but he's yet another low-strikeout mid-4.00 ERA innings guy.
  • Paul Maholm, Pirates: Maholm seems likely to be moved.  He's making a modest $5.75MM and would be owed another $750K if his $9.75MM club option for 2012 is declined.  He's useful, but with a 3.18 ERA he's pitching over his head.
  • Kevin Correia, Pirates: Correia's ERA is deceiving as well, as his strikeout rate is a career low 3.8 per nine.  He's shown his best control too, however.  Correia is owed a modest $3MM next year.
  • Ryan Dempster, Cubs: Dempster posted a strong May after a brutal April.  He's a horse, and unlike many pitchers listed here he's a strikeout pitcher.  However, he can block any trade.  Dempster earns a hefty $13.5MM this year and has a player option at $14MM for '12.  If the Cubs kick in some money, Dempster approves a trade, and the option situation is resolved, he'd be a nice pickup.
  • Carlos Zambrano, Cubs: At about $18MM this year and next, the Cubs would have to contribute some serious cash to move their former ace.  Plus, he has a full no-trade clause.  Z has shown career-best control this year, but groundballs are down and he appears to be a mid-4.00s ERA guy now.
  • Brett Myers, Astros: Myers earns $7MM this year, $11MM in '12, and has a $10MM club option with a $3MM buyout for '13.  Groundballs are down and home runs are up, and Myers is looking like a well-paid innings guy.
  • Wandy Rodriguez, Astros: Wandy would be one of the more appealing pitchers on this list, but he's on the DL for elbow soreness.  He's well-compensated and can be controlled through 2014.  If he comes back strong the Astros might be well-served to escape his contract if possible.
  • Aaron Harang, Padres: Harang's groundball rate is up a touch, and for once his ERA (3.88) is in line with his peripheral stats.  His trade value is limited, but at least he's only making $3.5MM plus a $500K buyout.
  • Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers: Kuroda has a full no-trade clause, which was perhaps his reward for only requiring a one-year deal.  He'd probably prefer to stay near L.A.  He's gone from very good last year to just useful so far this year.  He's earning $12MM, so teams looking to add mid-rotation arms will probably look elsewhere.
  • Jon Garland, Dodgers: His groundball rate down, Garland is probably worse than his 4.31 ERA suggests.  He has an $8MM option for 2012 that vests at 190 innings, but it appears he'll fall short.
  • Ted Lilly, Dodgers: Lilly's strikeout rate is down a bit, though last night's effort was encouraging.  The homer-prone southpaw remains useful, but he's well-paid through 2013.
  • Derek Lowe, Braves: I can't quite see the Braves cashing in on Lowe this summer, though he's been solid this year with added strikeouts and his typical groundball tendencies.  At $15MM this year and next, there are more appealing trade targets anyway.
  • Erik Bedard, Mariners: Bedard has been healthy and effective this year.  He has a $1MM base salary and $6.35MM in performance bonuses.  A healthy Bedard would be one of the top available starters, but the Mariners are only a half game back in the AL West.

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