Where Will The Starters Go? Rumors

Where Will The Starters Go? AL West Edition

Sorry for the delay from the last edition of Where Will The Starters Go. Since then, we’ve seen two guys come off the market in Kris Benson and Odalis Perez, and another strongly speculated to sign: Shawn Chacon with the Astros. So here’s what we’ve got left:

Bartolo Colon, Josh Fogg, Freddy Garcia, Byung-Hyun Kim, Kyle Lohse, Rodrigo Lopez, Eric Milton, Tomo Ohka, Russ Ortiz, John Thomson, Jeff Weaver, David Wells

Once again, I’m open to corrections on my pitching depth charts. I tried to cull as much information from blogs and sites like Baseball America as possible.

Anaheim Angels: John Lackey, Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Jon Garland, Dustin Mosely, Kelvim Escobar, Nick Adenhart, Nick Green

Seattle Mariners: Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez, Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista, Jarrod Washburn, Horacio Ramirez, Cha Seung Baek, Ryan Feierabend

Oakland A’s: Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Justin Duchscherer, Lenny DiNardo, Dana Eveland, Dan Meyer, Chad Gaudin, Dallas Braden, Jerry Blevins, Gio Gonzalez

Texas Rangers: Brandon McCarthy, Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Jason Jennings, Kason Gabbard, Luis Mendoza, Eric Hurley, Matt Harrison, Elizardo Ramirez

The Angels look to open the season with Lackey, Weaver, Santana, Saunders, and Garland in the rotation, thanks to a Kelvim Escobar injury. So they’ve got five solid starters, with a sixth coming in time for May. Mosely will likely start the year in the bullpen, but can start in a pinch. Nick Green had a decently impressive year at AA in 2007, and is on the 40-man roster, so you have to figure he’s in the succession plans should the team befall an injury. Adenhart would require some manuevering, since he’s not on the 40-man. Yet, this all might be moot, as Mike Scioscia has said that the team won’t be signing any free agent starters.

I’m kind of disappointed not to put Brandon Morrow on this list, but it’s been made pretty clear that he’ll be in the bullpen this year. I personally don’t see the sense in drafting a guy at No. 5 then going and signing Carlos Silva to start over him. But, again, I don’t follow the M’s specifically, so I might be missing something here. There’s some depth there for certain, with six guys projected. They also have Eric O’Flaherty on the 40-man. So it appears Seattle has some decent depth, though I’m not so sure they’re keen on giving starts to Baek, Ramirez, and Feieraband. Would the M’s consider bringing back Weaver? Probably not, unless they were in a real bind. Josh Fogg? Once again, it’s tough to see them signing anyone unless there is an injury.

The list might be able to go on longer for Oakland, but I’ll stop it there. They have a ton of options, and since Billy Beane has basically indicated that this is a rebuilding year, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to sign a free agent starter. Then again, he did go out and get Keith Foulke, and he made that surprise move to get Esteban Loaiza a couple of years ago. So he could definitely surprise and bring in someone. Maybe Colon on a one-year with an option? Beane has done stranger things.

The Rangers are another team with a ton of depth beyond their set starters. Yes, we’ll see Millwood, McCarthy, Padilla, Jennings, and probably Gabbard start in the rotation. I’d add Kameron Loe and Robinson Tejeda to the list, but it appears they’ll start in the bullpen. They do have starters in case of an injury, once again, including Tejeda and Loe, but none have the experience or track record you’d really look for. I can see them jumping in on Colon or Fogg in case of injury. But barring that, they could look to add some depth, maybe with Kim. I don’t see them making a commitment to a guy like Kyle Lohse, though.

A note before continuing on to the NL: It doesn’t look like this crop fits in well anywhere yet. Teams are for the most part filled out five-deep with starters, so these guys are really looking for an injury or some ineffectiveness come game time in March. I’ve been opening up the "in case of injury" portion, because it appears that’s what it will take for one of these guys to land somewhere, especially if it’s a Major League deal.

- Joe