How Teams Obtained Their Opening Day Starters

The 30 Opening Day starters aren't the 30 best pitchers in the game, but their managers do consider them the best arms currently available. Here's a list of the pitchers who got the Opening Day nod this year and how their current teams acquired them (note that many have since signed extensions that delayed their arrival on the free agent market):

Draft Picks (12)

  • Stephen Strasburg, Nationals – Selected in the first round of the 2009 draft (1st overall).
  • Justin Verlander, Tigers – Selected in the first round of the 2004 draft (2nd overall).
  • Ricky Romero, Blue Jays – Selected in the first round of the 2005 draft (6th overall).
  • Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – Selected in the first round of the 2006 draft (7th overall).
  • Tim Lincecum, Giants – Selected in the first round of the 2006 draft (10th overall).
  • Jered Weaver, Angels – Selected in the first round of the 2004 draft (12th overall).
  • Yovani Gallardo, Brewers – Selected in the second round of the 2004 draft.
  • Jon Lester, Red Sox – Selected in the second round of the 2002 draft.
  • Josh Johnson, Marlins – Selected in the fourth round of the 2002 draft.
  • Jake Arrieta, Orioles – Selected in the 5th round of the 2007 draft.
  • James Shields, Rays – Selected in the 16th round of the 2000 draft.
  • Tommy Hanson, Braves – Selected in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft.

Free Agent Signings (8)

  • Kyle Lohse, Cardinals – Signed a free agent contract worth $4.25MM in March, 2008. 
  • Ryan Dempster, Cubs – Signed a free agent contract worth $52MM over four years in November, 2008.
  • C.C. Sabathia, Yankees – Signed a free agent contract worth $161MM over seven years in December, 2008.
  • Colby Lewis, Rangers – Signed a free agent contract worth $5MM over two years in January, 2010.
  • Brandon McCarthy, Athletics – Signed a free agent contract worth $1MM in December, 2010.
  • Carl Pavano, Twins – Signed a free agent contract worth $16.5MM over two years in January, 2011. The Twins originally traded for him in 2009, but Pavano has since hit free agency.
  • Bruce Chen, Royals – Signed a free agent contract worth $9MM over two years in November, 2011.
  • Erik Bedard, Pirates – Signed a free agent contract worth $4.5MM for one year in December, 2011.

Trades (7)

International Free Agent Signings (3)

  • Wandy Rodriguez, Astros – Signed as an amateur free agent in 1999.
  • Felix Hernandez, Mariners – Signed as an amateur free agent in July, 2002.
  • Johnny Cueto, Reds – Signed as an amateur free agent in 2004.


Full Story | 15 Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "How Teams Obtained Their Opening Day Starters"


EdinsonPickle
3 years 4 months ago

Opening Day! Woo! My favorite pitcher Roy Halladay already tossed 8 shutout innings to get his first win of the year! Good start to the season.

ZAK
ZAK
3 years 4 months ago

Helluva feat against that power house Pit team… lol ¬†Phils fans might want to be a bit more concerned they only scored 1 off Bedard.

EdinsonPickle
3 years 4 months ago

That really isn’t the point. Regardless of who he was facing, he looked good, and it’s always great to kick the season off right.

chris_synan1
3 years 4 months ago

Erik Bedard is starting…lol

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

he’s better than at least 7 or 8 others on this list

Redsox33
3 years 4 months ago

No mention of Hamels and Lee?

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

There are a couple of opening day starters you don’t even want on your team really, or 1 on the MLB roster at least and 1 on your team.

Yeah on Bedard.. Makes him 1 day closer to the DL list so he can join Harden.

CubHope
3 years 4 months ago

Pretty sure that info’s incorrect for Ryan Dempster….what’s listed is just his last contract…not how/when the Cubs acquired him

Kevin Swords
3 years 4 months ago

He originally signed as a free agent with the Cubs in January of 2004, was granted free agency after the 2008 season, and resigned with the Cubs a few weeks later. So technically, the Cubs acquired him in 2008 (although it can go back to 2004).

Edit: Response to CubHope in regards to Ryan Dempster

crashcameron
3 years 4 months ago

moral of this story seems to be: draft well

Scott Hensley
3 years 4 months ago

Wouldn’t you consider the Colby Lewis signing an International acquisition? The guy had been playing in Japan for several years. Even though he was an original Rangers draft choice.

Ray Reyes
3 years 4 months ago

Ryan Dempster was acquired by the Cubs via free agency on 2004 after being released by the Reds

Rangersfan32
3 years 4 months ago

I like Colby Lewis getting the nod. By no means is he the best pitcher, or have the best stuff, but he knows how to go out and consistently keep Texas in games and get the job done.

duckwalloper
3 years 4 months ago

No.  The Phillies are SO good that they get three opening days.

Infield Fly
3 years 4 months ago

The Phillies are SO good that they get three opening days.

(Two being do-overs until they get it right :p)

.