Starters Who Could Be Extended Before Free Agency

Last year, Brett Myers, Ted Lilly, and Livan Hernandez signed extensions before hitting free agency.  So far this year, the big name is Chris Carpenter, who will reportedly sit out the free agent market with a two-year deal in hand.  Here are some other impending free agent starters I could see signing before open bidding begins.

  • Mark Buehrle, White Sox.  Based on the many reports on this topic, Buehrle's preferences appear to be A) the White Sox B) the Cardinals or C) retirement.  With the Cardinals' rotation looking full, the smart money is on a new deal with Chicago.
  • Aaron Harang, Padres.  It's well known that Harang wants to remain in his native San Diego.  I've mentioned that I could see both sides exercising his $5MM mutual option, though the two parties could work something out prior.
  • Rich Harden, Athletics.  As I mentioned last week, a one-year deal in the $4.5MM range could work for Harden, who wants to remain in Oakland.
  • Livan Hernandez, Nationals.  Hernandez has expressed his desire to stay with the Nationals, and there's be little harm in another $1MM deal.
  • Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals.  Wang's strikeout rate this year in eight starts is dangerously low, but there still appears to be something left in the tank post-shoulder surgery.  He wants to return, and may give a discount since he'll have earned $4MM over 2010-11 from the Nats for 50-odd big league innings.  It might be a stretch for the Nationals to sign both Hernandez and Wang to Major League deals though.
  • Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers.  Interest in a new contract seems mutual, assuming Kuroda does not return to Japan.  Kuroda, owner of a 3.25 ERA, might be a tough sell at $12MM again for the Dodgers because of raises due to Lilly ($4.5MM), Chad Billingsley ($2.725MM), and Clayton Kershaw (potentially around $6MM).
  • Paul Maholm, Pirates.  Maholm's season ended on a sour note with a shoulder injury, but interest in a new contract is mutual and the price might be reasonable.
  • Roy Oswalt, Phillies.  Assuming Oswalt's back is up to it and he wants to pitch again, perhaps he'd like to remain in Philly.  Like Carpenter, the option price is too high, but a new deal could be reached.
  • Tim Wakefield, Red Sox.  I expect Boston or retirement for Wakefield.  The decision to retire would be presumably be much easier if he gets his 200th win this month.
  • This isn't a glamorous bunch, but top pitchers such as C.C. Sabathia and C.J. Wilson could re-sign quickly as well.  Throw in a few extensions from the list above, and the market for free agent starters could be extremely thin.

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14 Comments on "Starters Who Could Be Extended Before Free Agency"

3 years 11 months ago

If I were Aaron Harang I wouldn’t want to leave Petco either.

3 years 11 months ago

Buehrle will get 2 years for 20M – option on third year for 12M
Just like Paulie a White Sox for life

3 years 11 months ago

I would agree 100% with this contract…maybe even give him teh same contract that Carp took from the cards. Carps deal is right where mark should get anyway…an older pitcher who is still very good…not quite a #1, for sure not an ace…but no worse than a #3….2yrs/21 mill with a mutual option for a 3rd year to put the total at 3yrs/33 mill is a pretty decent deal…now that being said I would rather mark sign a 2 year/15 mill deal with an option for a 3rd year at 10 saves the sox some money and is a home town discount for mark who clearly wants to pitch either on the south side or down i-55…I think the cards will be to focused on berkman and albert to deal with buehrle unless albert and berk sign right away or mark waits for them to get their stuff straight to see what the cards offer.

3 years 11 months ago

Mark Buehrle should not be in the twilight of his career. He is 32. He could bounce back to ace form. With that said, if the Cards could get him at a discount, being his “dream team”, they could make use of a lohse or Westbrook as an expensive bullpen piece or possibly get them to waiver their no trade clauses.

3 years 11 months ago

mark never really was an “ace” he has quietly been one of the better left handers for quite some time, and has consistently been under rated but never an ace…a #1 yes but “ace” no…and yes there is a difference…because while there are technically 30 #1’s (an argument can be made that there are less) there are truly only 7 or 8 “aces” in the league(and by ace i mean year in and year one one of the top pitchers not just guys who have only done it for a year or two)

3 years 11 months ago

he’s going to get more then that, try 13-15 mill/year. Unless he takes a hometown discount and puts his money where his mouth is.

3 years 11 months ago

I’ll take a flyer on Oswalt for 2 years 18 mill….and then let May take over for him in 2014…but not the expense of Hamels, Madson, or Rollins.

Tom Knuppel
3 years 11 months ago

If the Cardinals lose out on Edwin Jackson they may be looking for Buehrle to pitch in STL.

3 years 11 months ago

Wish they could always wanted him on the cardinals but they’ll have a full rotation with

3 years 11 months ago

If and its a big IF, Mark takes a hometown discount I could see the cards eating a chunk of either Lohse or Westbrook’s contracts for salary relief or just putting one of them in the pen. Personally I think Jake could make a decent long reliever or atleast a better long reliever than he has been a starter.

3 years 11 months ago

i agree. i like that. i would also like to resign Jackson if we could get him for 10 to 11 million. i like him and he is a hard thrower, but i think he will probably get more from a team who needs pitching alot more than the cards. i think a Waino, carp, garcia, jackson, buehrle would be sick. trade both Lohse and Westbrook, or just one and stick the other in the pen. Then resign Pujols, Berkman(deal similar to Carp’s), and Furcal(4-6mil for 1 year). To bad the cards couldnt pull money out their a$$ to do this lol.

3 years 11 months ago

the sox and cards should have traded buehrle for colby at the dead line. Considering it was literally only eJax and some relief guys for colby…Buehrle is having a much better year then eJax and would have stayed in the STL where as eJax and his agent are going to try to get top dollar and top years else where

3 years 11 months ago

I see Buehrle staying w/ChiSox, he loves the organization and fans adore him.  If for some reason they don’t sign him, Cards would get em.  Anybody want Dunn or Rios?

3 years 11 months ago

the problem with buehrle is he needs a 6 man rotation to keep him fresh….its pretty much sox or nothing because st. louis wont give him that luxary…