Top Free Agent Contracts For Starting Pitchers

Until free agent starters Kyle Lohse and Joe Saunders sign new contracts, it’ll be too early to draw final conclusions about this year’s starting pitching market. Both pitchers have cases for multiyear deals at a time that many teams could still use rotation depth.

Yet Spring Training is just a week away, and most free agent pitchers have signed. MLBTR’s Free Agent Tracker offers a look at the top free agent signings for starting pitchers this offseason. Here’s the top ten, beginning with the largest guarantees (links go to MLBTR posts):

  1. Zack Greinke, Dodgers – six years, $147MM – Greinke established a new record for right-handed pitchers.
  2. Anibal Sanchez, Tigers – five years, $80MM – Sanchez returned to Detroit after coming close to a deal with the Cubs.
  3. Edwin Jackson, Cubs – four years, $52MM – The Cubs bolstered their rotation with many free agent arms, including Jackson.
  4. Jake Peavy, White Sox, – two years, $29MM – Soon after becoming the Chicago GM, Rick Hahn re-signed Peavy.
  5. Ryan Dempster, Red Sox – two years, $26.5MM – Dempster elected to stay in the American League after 15 seasons in the NL.
  6. Jeremy Guthrie, Royals – three years, $25MM – Excel Sports Management found a three-year deal for Guthrie relatively early in the offseason.
  7. Brandon McCarthy, Diamondbacks – two years, $15.5MM – McCarthy recovered from a skull fracture to obtain a multiyear deal.
  8. Joe Blanton, Angels – two years, $15MM – The Angels' rotation underwent major changes this winter.
  9. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees – one year, $15MM – Kuroda declined New York’s qualifying offer then re-signed for another year in the Bronx.
  10. Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners – two years, $14MM – It didn’t take long for the Mariners to retain Iwakuma on a two-year deal.

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