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.

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