Trade And Free Agent Market For Starting Pitchers

The Braves, Rays, Cardinals, Brewers, and Diamondbacks probably will not be in the market for starting pitching this offseason, but most other teams will be.  Here's how the market shapes up.

Top-Of-The-Rotation Starters Available In Free Agency Or Trade

Yu Darvish is not technically a free agent, but any team will be able to bid for the exclusive rights to negotiate with him if the Nippon-Ham Fighters post him.  He may require a $100MM+ commitment, and would become the ace of many MLB staffs.  Regular free agents C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt would slot in as the #1 or #2 starter in several rotations.  All three have their share of question marks, but they're as close to aces as we've got.

The trade market for aces looks bleak or non-existent, if the Rays' James Shields is truly "very unlikely" to be dealt.  There is currently no reason to think Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, or Josh Beckett will be traded this offseason, though there's a surprise every year.

Middle-Of-The Rotation Starters Available In Free Agency Or Trade

The free agent market features several starters who can slot in comfortably at #3: Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Hiroki Kuroda,  and Javier Vazquez.  Erik Bedard and Bartolo Colon make solid #3s when healthy, while Hisashi Iwakuma could be worthy of the designation.

On the trade market, Gio Gonzalez and Jair Jurrjens can be considered third starters or even a little more.  With four more years of club control, the A's could having an asking price for Gonzalez exceeding that of Matt Garza last offseason.  If the A's are willing to discuss Gonzalez they may also listen on Brandon McCarthy.  Wandy Rodriguez, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Jeremy Guthrie, and Ricky Nolasco could be available as well.

Back-Of-The Rotation Starters Available In Free Agency Or Trade

The free agent market offers known commodities Chris Capuano, Bruce Chen, Jeff Francis, Freddy Garcia, Aaron Harang, Paul Maholm, Jason Marquis.  There are also many more with something to prove, like Rich Harden, Jon Garland, Joel Pineiro, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Dontrelle Willis.  

John Lannan, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, Homer Bailey, Brett Myers, Carlos Zambrano, Travis Wood, A.J. Burnett, and Edinson Volquez are speculative trade candidates.

Non-Tender Candidates

Joe Saunders, Mike Pelfrey, Chris Volstad, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Slowey, Jerome Williams, and Tom Gorzelanny have some chance of being non-tendered in December, so they may be presently available.  Jonathan Sanchez, a non-tender candidate for the Giants, was just traded to the Royals

Thinking Outside The Box

Last winter the Rangers were interested in signing Bobby Jenks as a starter, and a rotation opportunity motivated Aaron Heilman to sign with Arizona.  There are no obvious candidates to make the relief-rotation shift, but a few should pop up as the offseason progresses.



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