List Of Top Young Pitchers Without Extensions

MLB teams are working to keep their best pitchers off of the open market with contract extensions, and fewer elite arms are hitting free agency as a result of this emerging trend. In the past month alone, Matt Cain, Derek HollandJon Niese and Madison Bumgarner have signed long-term extensions that will postpone their free agency.

So who's going to hit free agency? Fortunately for teams without pitching, some under-30 starters are not signed to long-term deals (minimum 2.5 wins above replacement in 2011 per FanGraphs). The list below includes pitchers who are going year to year through arbitration, and those who are headed for free agency this coming offseason:

Eligible For Free Agency After 2012

Eligible For Free Agency After 2013

Eligible For Free Agency After 2014

Eligible For Free Agency After 2015

  • Rick Porcello – 23 years old, 2.7 WAR in '11, 2.170 years of MLB service through '11
  • David Price – 26 years old, 4.7 WAR in '11, 2.164 years of MLB service through '11
  • Jordan Zimmermann -– 25 years old, 3.4 WAR in '11, 2.154 years of MLB service through '11 (extension candidate)
  • Ian Kennedy – 27 years old, 5.0 WAR in '11, 2.124 years of MLB service through '11 (extension candidate)
  • Mat Latos – 24 years old, 3.2 WAR in '11, 2.079 years of MLB service through '11
  • Doug Fister – 28 years old, 5.5 WAR in '11, 2.058 years of MLB service through '11
  • Philip Humber – 29 years old, 3.5 WAR in '11, 2.000 years of MLB service through '11

Eligible For Free Agency After 2016

  • Daniel Hudson — 25 years old, 4.9 WAR in '11, 1.117 years of MLB service through '11 (extension candidate)
  • Ivan Nova – 25 years old, 2.7 WAR in '11, 1.035 years of MLB service through '11
  • Brandon Beachy – 25 years old, 2.8 WAR in '11, 1.014 years of MLB service through '11
  • Michael Pineda – 23 years old, 3.4 WAR in '11, 1.000 years of MLB service through '11

Many of the pitchers above will eventually sign extensions that delay their arrival on the open market. For now, however, it remains possible that they'll test free agency.


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36 Comments on "List Of Top Young Pitchers Without Extensions"


Brian Lampert
3 years 4 months ago

Kershaw?

rylewis
3 years 4 months ago

Isn’t Kershaw due to be available after 2014 at the moment?
(Get on that one, Ned!)

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 4 months ago

Ned just signed him to an extension. Only a 2 years extension but still an extension.

LazerTown
3 years 4 months ago

Dodgers need kershaw.

3 years 4 months ago

Bud Norris?

Colin Christopher
3 years 4 months ago

Norris wasn’t worth the “minimum 2.5 wins above replacement in 2011 per FanGraphs” as stated by the post.

3 years 4 months ago

Kershaw (and Lincecum) both signed two year contract extensions this past off season. So while they’ll still become available in the coming years, they don’t qualify as young pitchers without extensions.

ZAK
ZAK
3 years 4 months ago

That’s ridiculous based on the premise here: they’ll still hit FA at the same time as without an extension. 

LazerTown
3 years 4 months ago

I’ll take kershaw.  4 years younger, whereas lincecum has been regressing every year, although he is still elite.

Jason_F
3 years 4 months ago

As ZAK alluded to, the article clearly stated it is looking at pitchers who haven’t signed deals that would delay their free agency from the standard time frame of six years of service time.

3 years 4 months ago

I don’t know if I’d term Lincecum’s two year deal an “extension.” He may well get the largest AAV for a free-agent pitcher EVER when he signs; he’s already due to make $22M next year, and barring significant regression I’m guessing the floor for even getting the time of day from his agents with be $25M+.

3 years 4 months ago

A contract extension is a contract extension. What the following contract entails has nothing to do with it.

3 years 4 months ago

That’s a technicality that runs counter to the purpose of this exercise. Refer to: “MLB teams are working to keep their best pitchers off of the open market,” and “So who’s going to hit free agency?”

In Lincecum and Kershaw’s cases, I think we can safely disregard “non-tendered” as an option, and as their deals do not buy out or otherwise prevent free-agency, they merit consideration.

Zack Grienke is on the list, and he’s in the last year of a four year deal. So, there’s really no reason at all to omit Lincecum and Kershaw, as they will probably contribute heavily to shaping the market for the likes of David Price.

Jason_F
3 years 4 months ago

Except for the fact that he will hit free agency at the same exact time as if he went through the arbitration process every year.  The whole point of signing extensions like Cain, Bumgarner, etc. is to gain control of years that the pitchers would otherwise enter the free agent market.

nm344
3 years 4 months ago

Not the way he’s pitching now.  

Colin Christopher
3 years 4 months ago

Barring significant regression…you mean like if the walk rate that’s been going up for the last three years and the strikeout rate that’s been going down for the last four years both continue in those directions?

While I agree with you that he’s likely to get the largest AAV ever for a pitcher, and that his agents will be looking for at least $25M/year, I guarantee that the team who gives him that money will regret it.

3 years 4 months ago

Oh, absolutely. Lincecum will almost certainly be paid more than he’s worth; he has that closer-like hype around him where front offices will overpay hand over fist for those juicy, juicy intangibles. The peripherals are indeed troubling, and there could well be a reckoning before he hits free agency. But if he can fake it for the next two seasons and put up ace-ish numbers – or if he finds a way to re-invent himself in a big way, which I wouldn’t rule out entirely – some team will break the bank for him for better or for worse.

dieharddodgerfan
3 years 4 months ago

I would definitely take Hamels or Greinke and then add either McCarthy or Sanchez to one of them.

I would deal Harang, Capuano and Lilly either by the trade deadline or in the off-season. Eat a significant % of their contracts to help deal them.

Imagine a rotation of Kershaw, Hamels, Sanchez, Billz and DeLaRosa? Not too shabby.

3 years 4 months ago

So you’re paying salary for outgoing players… AND adding $20+MM for Hamels or Greinke, and $14+MM for McCarthy or Sanchez?  And where is this money coming from?  The owners who were so smart that they paid like double what the Dodgers are worth?

dieharddodgerfan
3 years 4 months ago

The Dodgers will have money to spend. The new ownership group’s $2.15
BILLION dollar bid was ALL CASH. No financing. The Guggenheim Partners,
of which the the managing owner, Walter, is the CEO of, manages $125 Billion in assets.

This ownership group knows they will need to dip into free agency in
order to improve in the short run. And that is important considering
they have to negotiate a new TV deal after the ’13 season and TV ratings
will be an important factor in determining how big of a deal they will
get.

BTW, if the Dodgers start their own Regional Sports Network, they could eventually be making $250 to $300 million a year in subscriber fees alone and then you could also factor in advertising on top.

That revenue doesn’t include ticket and park-related income.

Believe me, the new owners will make their money back and then some. And probably a lot quicker than people expect.

Rich, smart businessmen like Walter and Magic Johnson don’t just invest money to invest it. They know what they are doing and know the income streams and expenses. You can believe that.

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

That 2014 possible FA list Tribe has to be thinking of Masterson if the FO has any brains to the future.. Once Masterson finally figured out he can still throw 96 from 3/4 over the top and has that super nasty sinker FB still? THEN come from almost total sidearm when he wants to STILL make an unhittable sinking FB at 96 to a RH hitter almost at will??

Thought when Boston made that Vmart deal that Hagedone would be the one they would dread the most losing.. Lefty throwing 97+, but Masterson was the long term killer so far.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 4 months ago

Actually I always figured Masterson would be the one we would miss. Though I had thought he’d be more of a Derek Lowe’s early career with the Sox, set up man maybe closer if he got an opportunity. 

chico65
3 years 4 months ago

Whoops, sorry purple didn’t mean to reply to you

3 years 4 months ago

How about Fister having the highest WAR of anyone on this list?  I think he’s just now coming up on his first arb year.  Not an extension candidate because the Tigers could stand to save some coin for the next couple years.  But damn if he wasn’t exciting to watch, it was like watching a RH Cliff Lee in September.

chico65
3 years 4 months ago

Chris Young would have been a natural for this list circa 2006/2007

gamaize
3 years 4 months ago

Tigers will have interesting choices to make over the next few years. Not only do you have Scherzer, Porcello, and Fister in 14/15 you also have Cabrera and Verlander in that same time line.  Not sure about Jackson/Avila/Boesch but they can’t be that far behind.

Cha Ching  Cha Ching

Paul Shailor
3 years 4 months ago

 Yea, another reason why I wasnt a huge fan of the Fielder signing. Yes he is paying off atm but it will hurt us later on while trying to keep our young guys.

chrisn313
3 years 4 months ago

We will regret the fielder signing

Robert_Risteen
3 years 4 months ago

What about Felix in 2014

Robert_Risteen
3 years 4 months ago

Never mind retread the total didn’t see without extension part

3 years 4 months ago

Tommy Hanson? Didn’t have 2.5 WAR last year due to injury, but would still think he’s worth a mention.

garlick
3 years 4 months ago

I would have thought the same thing, he’s 25, and his 2010 WAR was 2.5 and 3.3 in 2009. I totally thought he would be on here.

Jair Jurrjens also had a 3.8 WAR in 2011, and he’s not listed anywhere on here either. A bit odd, considering both of them seem to be considered a bit more valuable than Beachy who made the list.

3 years 4 months ago

Although he missed 2011 due to injury, Adam Wainwright had a 6.1 WAR in 2010 and will be a free agent in 2014.

disgruntledreader
3 years 4 months ago

Half the guys with one or two years of time now will be angling for a minor league deal with a big league camp invite by the time they hit six years… Not all pitchers progress, or even maintain over time.

Rangersfan32
3 years 4 months ago

I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw McCarthy’s name on here. He has one decent year in one of the most pitcher friendly ballparks in the league, and he’s now considered one of the top young pitchers in the league? Wow.

roomwithamoose
3 years 4 months ago

but the contract is guaranteed now, and that means they can’t just nontender, him he’s no longer without the rights. I mean, of course there’d be no chance they wouldn’t tender him a contract regardless of the extension, but there’s a set of rights he’s allotted that someone with the same service time  wouldn’t have