Teams Seeking Starting Pitching

A slew of unsigned starting pitchers remain on the free agent market, as well as several trade candidates. Which teams are or might be in the hunt?

  • Orioles: With pitchers like Paul Maholm and Joe Saunders on the radar, the O's don't seem to be seeking high-end upgrades unless they are to trade Adam Jones.
  • Red Sox: Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves could fill out Boston's rotation, though added depth beyond Carlos Silva might be nice.
  • Yankees: The Yankees have a functional rotation now, but they could add Edwin Jackson's innings if the price is right.
  • Blue Jays: The Blue Jays seem focused on adding a front-end starter if any.
  • Tigers: GM Dave Dombrowski told Lynn Henning of the Detroit News that he was actively involved in talks for Gio Gonzalez.  He said he did not offer Jacob Turner for Matt Garza, however, and seems to be in the market just for a swingman type.
  • Royals: They've added Jonathan Sanchez and re-signed Bruce Chen, but also had interest in young, controllable starters Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez.
  • Athletics: The A's have plenty of young rotation depth, but I wouldn't be surprised if they add a cheap veteran to the mix.
  • Mariners: The Mariners have a strong front three and immensely talented starters on the way, and will probably be done if they complete a deal with Hisashi Iwakuma.
  • Marlins: The Marlins appear to be considering adding a front-end starter or else standing pat, as they've been linked to Gonzalez and Garza.
  • Mets: It's easy to picture the Mets adding a veteran on a one-year deal.
  • Cubs: The Cubs have enough arms to cobble together a rotation, but a free agent is possible, especially if they trade Garza without receiving an MLB-ready starter in return.
  • Pirates: The Bucs are known to be prioritizing one more starter.
  • Diamondbacks: They have internal options, but could bring in a veteran to compete for the fifth starter job.
  • Rockies: The Rockies are looking to supplement their rotation with Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Francis, or Kevin Millwood, reportedly, and others are likely on the radar.


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65 Comments on "Teams Seeking Starting Pitching"


gradylittle
3 years 8 months ago

You’re right, added depth beyond Carlos Silva, meaning added depth that completely dilutes the likely hood of Carlos Silva of ever pitching for the Red Sox, would be nice. 

johnsilver
3 years 8 months ago

Could be worse.. Duckworth is also signed and waiting..

Serious.. Alex Wislon should be ready by June and hopefully Doubront will show up in ST healthy.. *Maybe* Bowden will be stretched out in ST as a starter as he is out of options and they will junk the SP plan with bard, then let Aceves be the #4.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 8 months ago

I figure the starters are so far:
Good to go: Beckett, Lester
Injury risk but here’s hoping for 150-200 innings: Buchholz
Potential starters or bullpen: Bard, Aceves, Miller, Doubront
Minor league depth/serious emergency starters: Silva, Duckworth, Wilson, Haeger, Tazawa.

Ideally I’d say we need 12 potential starters which includes the emergency possibilities. Personally I’d like to see the Sox add another solid starter like Kuroda or Oswalt. Then put Bard in the #5 spot, have Aceves be ready to be the 6th man, Miller ready for an emergency spot start, keep the rest in AAA for bigger emergencies, be prepared for midseason trade.

Basically if Beckett or Lester are out for more than 3 months, big issues. But frankly that’s true with most teams losing their #1 or #2 starters. Other than that I tend to see a lot of the back end of the rotation changing as necessary. It’s not the greatest rotation in the world but it looks at least average. Add that to the best offense in the majors and it’s still a contending team.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t really see any reason to put Buchholz in the injury risk category (he was cleared to pitch before last year even ended).  He’ll be healthy to start the year and it isn’t like he has a history of injury; I wouldn’t count on him for 200 innings after missing most of last year (and because he has yet to reach that total in the majors).

Also, Doubront is out of options so he can’t be stashed in AAA, and I don’t know what the Sox will do, but I’d rather see him get a spot start before Miller.

johnsilver
3 years 8 months ago

Have a feeling that they are waiting on the outcome of Oswalt/kuroda and seeing where others like maybe even Wandy rodriquez ends up before they shut the door completely on Wake.

Wake is that 5-6th guy also and bringing him into camp this time on a non guaranteed deal.. To compete (like you mentioned) with Miller. Tazawa is not going to be ready when the season rolls around, but hopefully should be around June, as should Wilson am hoping.

At that time the SP dilemma should lighten up, but they need to find 2 *bodies* for that 4 and 5 spot for at least 2 months.

Would/could they get by with Doubront and Miller filling that? Can Bard go 5-6 innings for 2 months and take 1 of those slots?

Like a lot of Sox fans here have mentioned.. Just paying Oswalt 13-14m for 1 year would help a lot, even if they could just get him to be healthy until say..July? Then help would be on the way with at least *1* of Wilson/Tazawa.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

Wakefield isn’t worth the spring training innings he would take up, they’d be better off going with Miller or Doubront as the 5th starter, either one would be at least as good and both have way more upside.

johnsilver
3 years 8 months ago

No real argument there.. Just.. Where are they going to find that 4-5SP?

Lets look at this in a worst case theory.. Bard goes into ST, makes 4-5 starts and suffers a tired arm, does not break camp with them, but is on the 15 day DL. I know, it’s not a huge chance, but could happen for someone who has not started in3 years.

They need 2 starters out of Aceves, Miller and Doubront with possibly bowden and a Alex wilson who in all likelihood is not ready.

I am just looking at Wake as a “break glass” type, no more chance of making the MLB team than carlos Silva and Wake knowing full well before he heads to ST.

This is all depending on the Sox not bringing in any viable SP option, including such low priority people as volstad even.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

So put two of Doubront, Miller, and Aceves in the rotation and the other as the swing man in the ‘pen; still a better option than Wakefield.

johnsilver
3 years 8 months ago

Scary still isn’t it? either way.. Miller/Wake in the rotation it almost makes one want to see Matsuzaka back..Then hoping doubront shows up healthy.

wouldn’t it be really something to see Tazawa show up in ST with the promise he had when he 1st came to the states and all the way back from his TJ.. An awful lot of the problems would be instantly overcame.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

 I don’t think they’ll put him in the rotation to start the year no matter how he pitches in spring training.  His big issue last year was repeating his delivery, which was actually a strength for him before he had TJ, so they’ll want to make sure he has that repeatability back before they give him a shot in the rotation, but once they are confident it is back I could see them giving him a shot should the need arise.

Sully65
3 years 8 months ago

Bowden is out of options for minors and really has little value. I see him filling the role that the Sox envisioned for Wheeler last year of multi innings relief outings. If Bowden doesn’t make Big Club this winter he will be set free.

gradylittle
3 years 8 months ago

I always envisioned Bowden being part of some type of deal. 

Sully65
3 years 8 months ago

Maybe but Bowden gets lit up everytime they have tried him as a starter. I think he needs to prove he can be reliable out of pen first. I personally would be happy to see him get traded but just not sure he is highly regarded at this time, imho

rockfordone
3 years 8 months ago

Got the deal for you – Bowden and Crawford for
Floyd and Thornton make the money equal

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

Could be, but I think he could actually be a good late inning reliever.  He closed for Pawtucket later in the year last year and was good at it; he probably wouldn’t be more than a middle of the road closer (at best) in the majors, but I think he would be a good fit for the 7th-8th inning or, as Sully says, maybe a guy who goes 2-3 innings in a pinch.

johnsilver
3 years 8 months ago

he never really has gotten the chance over the last couple of years and even last season when he was pretty good out of the Pawtucket ‘pen, got the call up he pretty much just sat down in the Sox pen.

The guy has just been kind of buried by the Sox. i would like to see him get a good, long look and why mentioned up above about seeing him getting stretched out. whether as a swing man, SP, whatever I would like to see him get a fair shake before they let him go.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t see him making any starts going forward, his stuff plays up so much better out of the ‘pen that I think that that is really his niche.  He can dial his fastball up to 94mph (from 90-91 as a starter), and he doesn’t need his curve (which he telegraphs way too much for it to be an effective pitch).

chico65
3 years 8 months ago

Whoever is linked to Kazmir will certainly win the undisputed “Most Desperate” award of the offseason, but the Sox will be a close second with Silva.

I’d rather make way for ducklings…err, Duckworth…before Silva sees the mound.  

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

It honestly would have to be pretty bad for any of the minor league depth guys to see any real time in the rotation (the pure depth guys, not talking about actual ‘prospects’ who could earn their way onto the team).

Assuming they sign one starting pitcher they would have Aceves, Miller, and Doubront all in the ‘pen and able to start, so by the time you need to call someone up you’re 9 pitchers deep; even if they don’t sign another pitcher they’d have two capable starters in the ‘pen and they’d be 8 deep before they needed their minor league depth.

chico65
3 years 8 months ago

“It honestly would have to be pretty bad for any of the minor league depth guys to see any real time in the rotation”

You mean like last September? 

Other than the addition by subtraction going on with Lackey, there haven’t been any improvements.  Aceves was horrible in half his starts last year.  Bard is a question mark.  Buchholz has managed one full season at the MLB level.  

Don’t get me wrong, I love the optimism, but they still need some help for the rotation badly.  I’d give Oswalt whatever he wants, even with the 40% premium.  Go for Colon.  Just don’t put the team in the position of counting on Andrew Miller or his ilk to come through for you when it counts.    

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

Yes, and last September was so bad because it was so abnormal.  I’m not saying that more/better depth wouldn’t be good, but with both Doubront and Aceves in the ‘pen and able to step in in case of injury the depth isn’t worth getting worked up about.

Also, don’t forget that there are actual prospects who could show that they are able to get major league innings at some point this year (any of Wilson, Tazawa, and Pimentel, could show they are “ready,” along with more long-shots in Britton, CBM, and the like).

chico65
3 years 8 months ago

If there’s something to get worked up about with this team, it’s the starting pitching depth.  Run Ryan Sweeney out there every day in right for all I care.  Last September was abnormal.  But it won’t be if we’re counting on Aceves (in a starting role), Miller, Doubrant, or a prospect to significantly contribute when the inevitable attrition in the rotation arrives.

The Sox are set offensively, the bullpen could be significantly strengthened depending on how Bard shakes out and assuming Bailey stays healthy (Melancon pitching the 7th?  Delightful).  The one glaring hole this team has is starting pitching depth…and not just 8th/9th man in, we’re talking beyond the top 3 here. 

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t think the ‘depth’ is the issue, I think the issue is finding another starter.  If they sign an Oswalt or Kuroda, or trade for a Garza or Floyd, then I think the depth that they have will be more than good enough.

redsx968
3 years 8 months ago

I was gonna say. *Added depth beyond Carlos Silva will be necessary 

OldStyle_NewCubs
3 years 8 months ago

The hot stove has gotten pretty cold. 

What am i supposed to do, do WORK at work?

James Attwood
3 years 8 months ago

Well, tell Darvish to hurry up and sign or decline. The vast majority of Baseball is waiting on the outcome of those negotiations to wrap up. Until they do, just about everyone else is in a holding pattern.

aricollins
3 years 8 months ago

Why would baseball be waiting for Darvish? He’s not going to sign with any team but the Rangers, so he doesn’t affect any other teams’ plans. And his contract won’t set the market for anyone else, either.

Fielder, Jackson, Kuroda, and Oswalt, plus some trades (Garza?) are more important to the offseason shaking itself out, in my opinion.

Mostly, though, I think the offseason was just taking a break for the holidays, as it does every year. Things’ll heat up this week or next.

James Attwood
3 years 8 months ago

Baseball is waiting for Darvish because the Rangers are waiting for Darvish. Fielder, Jackson, and Oswalt are all potentially waiting on offers from Texas should they fail to sign Darvish. Fielder almost certainly will not sign until after Darvish since if theey miss out on Darvish, they will have that Darvish pile of cash to sign Fielder.

Kuroda has been leading too many teams on through this process, but Jackson will likely sign shortly after Darvish. If Darvish doesn’t sign, Jackson will get what he is after. If Darvish does sign, that’s one less suitor in a bad market year.

Only Texas can sign Darvish. But the free agents (and their agents) are all waiting for the cards to fall where they will in Texas before pulling the trigger on a deal.

James Attwood
3 years 8 months ago

With the FA starting pitching candidates that are left, the D’backs are better off making Miley, Bauer, and Skaggs compete for the 5th rotation spot and going from there. They would only need 1-2 years at most out of anyone they signed, but the only ones really worth signing all want more than the D’backs can really spend given the contract they just gave to Kubel.

Save what money is left in the coffers to address mid-season needs when looking at possible trades. Never hurts to be able to take on salary to land a solid player.

diesel2410
3 years 8 months ago

All of these teams should contact the Rays. Except Boston, screw them

Sully65
3 years 8 months ago

Truth is the Sox have the prospects the Rays need. Sox have catchers, SS, 1B and the Rays have extra 4-5 type pitchers. If not for being in AL East together they are a perfect trading partners

diesel2410
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t want anything Boston related. They are all very familiar with the “choking” disorder

rundmc1981
3 years 8 months ago

I’d love to see a list of starters that could or have thought to have been available in order of their potential or ceiling. I’d imagine Garza, Jurrjens, Oswalt, and Edwin Jackson would be somewhere near the top – maybe in that order.

EightMileCats
3 years 8 months ago

You forgot Kuroda

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

No way Jurrjens is that high on the list, and if you’re talking about actually talent I’d still put Oswalt above Garza until Garza shows that he can maintain something close to last year (before last year he wasn’t even close to the pitcher Oswalt is).

Jeff
3 years 8 months ago

Jurrjens is 25 and was in serious contention to start the ASG last year.  Yeah he’s a little injury prone, but in terms of ceiling, he’s clearly the highest on that list in terms of potential.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

Jurrjens has had two years with good ERAs, but in both years he out performed his peripheral stats by an unbelievable amount.  He strikes out very few people, and walks a lot of people in relation to his Ks.  In both of his “good” years his ERA was more than a run below his FIP, and a run and a half below his xFIP, SIERA, and tERA.

bravesdude
3 years 8 months ago

Jurrjens has pitched against his peripherals his entire ML career . And I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon . As far as BB’s per SO , when you’re only striking out around 5-6 per 9 and walking 2 1/2 per 9 , those numbers aren’t going to look terrific . But he doesn’t walk a ton of batters , last year being his best at 2.6/9 . He doesn’t give up a lot of HR’s . His career hr/9 is 0.7 . I would say that if there were a list in order of available pitchers , he would be safe to put behind Garza . And if you look at their numbers , Garza actually has a worse HR/9 and BB/9 than Jurrjens in career stats  and has never had an ERA below what he had last year at 3.32 . So you could actually put Jurrjens in front of him , unless you only go on peripherals and history of injuries , which others I’m sure will note cause all they are really interested in .

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

You can’t expect anyone to consistently outperform their peripherals by that much, and he hasn’t done it his whole career anyway, he’s done it twice out of five years, and both years he had abnormally high LOB%s and abnormally low BABIPs.  He’s also only walked less than 3 per 9 once, so to say that he walks 2.5 per 9 is disingenuous.

As far as Garza is concerned, even if you don’t buy into him being ’11 Garza going forward (and I don’t) he is a better pitcher than Jurrjens.  Garza’s career FIP is 3.98 to Jurrjens career 3.88, but Garza has a better xFIP, SIERA, and tERA, and when you add in the fact that Garza can be counted on for way more innings than Jurrjens and doesn’t have anywhere near the injury history of Jurrjens it is completely obvious that Garza is a better/more valuable pitcher.

rundmc1981
3 years 8 months ago

You’re not considering lingering injuries, are you? I understand about the stats, but you can’t factor how much a lingering injury like he has had has affected his stats. The question is: do you trust the REAL Jurrjens is 2009 and 2011 or if he is the 2008 and 2010 (when he made only 20 starts and multiple DL appearances)? Even with a shortened 2011 from injury and some uncharacteristically horrible 2nd-half starts in 2011, he still had under a 3.00 ERA. Even with injuries he’s had a 3.40 ERA for his career. Matt Garza has only done that once, last year. (Cue the Garza-pitched-in-the-AL East talk). 

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

I absolutely am considering lingering injuries, and ERA is a terrible way to evaluate pitchers.  According to all of the other stats Jurrjens’ ERA should be a full run higher than it is.  The peripheral stats absolutely suggest that the ‘real’ Jurrjens is somewhere between his ’08 and ’10 numbers, and nothing like his ’09 and ’11 numbers.

P.S. all of those injuries are just one more reason Jurrjens shouldn’t be anywhere near the top of that list.

bravesdude
3 years 8 months ago

In 2009 and 2011 he pitched quite a bit above his peripherals . The other years he also pitched above his peripherals , but only slightly . If he has done it that much in his career , the I wouldn’t expect that to change . And ERA is just as good a stat to look at as just about any other because of the fact that it tells how well that pitcher has done to limit the runs allowed per game . And I know some people are gonna say that defense also plays a role in that also , which I am not denying . But , you have an aging 3rd baseman who’s range has been limited . You also have had a revolving door at 2nd (Uggla this year and his D wasn’t exactly great) and at 1st and the OF . Another positive stat that you could use with JJ is the High , Medium leverage situuations . He has done better in higher and medium leverage situations than in his low leverage situations . So that tells me that he does well in pressure situations .

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

 Outperforming your peripheral stats is not abnormal, but having an ERA more than a run lower than your peripheral is abnormal and is not sustainable.  And there are too many variables involved in ERA that are out of the pitchers control to be even remotely valuable in evaluating a pitcher’s talent.

I’m not trying to say that Jurrjens is a terrible pitcher, but he’s more of a #3-4 pitcher than an ace, and one that has injury concerns (as opposed to Garza who is a #2-3 pitcher without injury concerns, and Oswalt is a solid #2 pitcher with injury concerns).

rundmc1981
3 years 8 months ago

They were in no particular order, but if making order, you should also consider how “attractive” each candidate would be to teams, meaning you need to consider for how long you can attain them, how much you’re giving up, the injury risk, and how much their salary would be. When you consider Oswalt’s injury risk, price tag, and sub-par 2011, I can’t see right now having his stock higher than Jurrjens who could be had for almost 40% less per year than Oswalt for 2 years! Jurrjens has All-Star games in front of him, while Oswalt has them in his rear-view mirror.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

Jurrjens has plenty of injury concerns of his own (and he only threw 13 more innings than Oswalt last year so it’s not like they aren’t recent concerns), and would cost not only money, but prospects.  Plus, Jurrjens has never been as good of a  pitcher as Oswalt is.

aricollins
3 years 8 months ago

Jurrjens is really not that great. The rest of those guys (plus Kuroda) are far better.

bravesdude
3 years 8 months ago

Jurrjens is much better than you give him credit for . His career stats in some departments are better than those of Garza’s .

Snoochies8
3 years 8 months ago

One of Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Chris Young, and others like them seem like they’d be fine stop-gaps for the a’s

mgsports
3 years 8 months ago

Lackey is a go for Red Sox’s so is Rich Hill but Disake Injure Risk. I would Trade Youklis for Prado/Jurrgens and then Braves Trade Prospects to Cubs for Byrd and Garza.

East Coast Bias
3 years 8 months ago

I think Lackey and Dice-K will have their best year for the Red Sox this coming year.

chico65
3 years 8 months ago

I think that goes without saying

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

 Lackey had Tommy John surgery and wont pitch at all this year, Hill had TJ and wont pitch until late in the year if at all, and Daisuke also had TJ and will be back around August at best.

roomwithamoose
3 years 8 months ago

Well Then it will technically be Lackey’s best year as a red sox so far… haha 

bravesdude
3 years 8 months ago

That would be an overpay for the Braves .

3 years 8 months ago

I don’t really see why the Rox would be interested in Jair. He’s not the type of pitcher they need at Coors.

bravesdude
3 years 8 months ago

His career HR/9 is 0.7 . Thats less than a HR per game while pitching in a neutral park . Coors Fields dimensions are slightly bigger than Turner Fields . I don’t think that he would suffer that much from the move .

3 years 8 months ago

KC can be taken off this list.  The way they see it, with the addition of Jonathon Sanchez to the worst rotation in the American Leauge, they are set.  Adding a free agent that would cost over $1mil would be “blocking” prospects with 0 major league experience.  They are disgustingly cheap and this won’t change.

goredsgo
3 years 8 months ago

worst rotation in AL. when did the o’s move to the NL?

Ryan The Braves Fan For Life
3 years 8 months ago

Why would Atlanta trade Jurjens?

3 years 8 months ago

Because they want to sell high, and he’s blocking much better pitchers on their way up.

bravesdude
3 years 8 months ago

They would not be selling high on Jurrjens . The only reason for trading him would be to make room for ML ready prospects who have nothing left to prove in the Minors .

Michael Wilson
3 years 8 months ago

Well, you don’t get rid of a known good at the major league level for an unknown at the minor league level no matter how little they have left to prove.  If they felt that Jair was so good they would trade the prospects and keep Jair.

That, however, is not what is rumored to be happening.  It is rumored that they are trying to sell Jair, and they are doing it for a reason.  They are trying to sell high on an injury prone above average pitcher that has put up traditional numbers that make him look like much more than an above average pitcher.

That isn’t a knock on Jair, he just isn’t as good as his ERA has shown him to be. He is better than his FIP/xFIP say he is (probably about half way between the two).  I think FIP really hurts guys like Jair who are not big strikeout guys and rely on batters making contact, but not solid contact.

bravesdude
3 years 8 months ago

No , the Braves FO actually know what they have in Teheran , Minor , Delgado and Vizcaino . And they are all decent options and considerably cheaper options than that of Jurrjens . The Braves don’t have to trade Jurrjens . They could always keep him and probably will if Wren doesn’t get what he is asking for . But the Braves have basically 2-3 M left under payroll and moving JJ would free up 4.5 M (estimated) . And at what he makes , he would well be worth that for any team , including the Braves . But they have cheaper ML ready talent that are needing to be used .

Michael Wilson
3 years 8 months ago

You’re right, how could I have forgotten that all minor league unproven players always lives up to the talent they have… 

Teheran and all of his 19.2 innings pitched has obviously proven himself.  Especially with that 4.5 k/9 and 5.03 ERA…

Minor, who actually has a decent major league sample size, has a 4.74 ERA.  At least he has a respectable k/9 though

Delgado though, he will prove me wrong!  Wait, his ERA to FIP disparity is even worse than JJ’s, and he actually has a decent k/9 so we can’t use that as an excuse…he was just very very luck.  funny his Minor league numbers show us this as well.

Vizcaino might be pretty good, of course he only has 17 innings in the majors, and has never pitched more than 100 innings in a year until 2011 when he pitched a whopping 114.1.

I should know better than to debate with homers…

slider32
3 years 8 months ago

It looks like teams are getting smart when it comes to trading for pitchers, everyone is looking for the price to come down. The free agents will sign, but most of them won’t get what they want as far as years or money. I don’t see a desperate team out there.