As two of their top starters look to recover from Spring Training setbacks, the Brewers are considering the idea of acquiring a starting pitcher through a trade or waiver claim. However, they say they're more likely to call on an internal candidate, like Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada, Eulogio de la Cruz or Tim Dillard.
It's easy to see why the Brewers aren't eager to spend on a pitcher like Doug Davis or Kevin Millwood. Zack Greinke probably won't be out for long and Shaun Marcum's shoulder stiffness could disappear soon, so investing millions in a pitcher who won't have a job in a few weeks wouldn't make much sense.
But GM Doug Melvin is eyeing pitchers on other teams and surely other GMs are doing the same. Here's a preliminary, speculative list of starting pitchers who could be available this spring:
- Kevin Slowey – The Twins are willing to listen to offers for Slowey. If they trade him, Scott Baker could take the fifth starter's job in Minnesota.
- Glen Perkins* – Perkins is battling for a spot in the Twins' pen, though he started 26 games in 2008 and 17 the following year. Like many Twins pitchers, Perkins limits walks (career 2.3 BB/9) without striking many out (career 4.7 K/9).
- Bartolo Colon/Freddy Garcia – Both non-roster invitees have impressed this spring, so they could end up in the Yankees' rotation, rather than on the trading block.
- Carlos Silva - It has been a frustrating spring for Silva, who could see Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner win the two open spots at the back of the Cubs' rotation. But Silva posted a 4.22 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 113 innings last year, so he could have appeal despite his his $11.5MM salary. Perhaps Todd Wellemeyer could also become trade bait.
- Rodrigo Lopez - Lopez may see Brandon Beachy or Mike Minor win the Braves' last rotation spot, in which case he'd be out of a job. Someone would figure to inquire on Lopez, who logged 200 innings in 2010. Kenshin Kawakami also remains available, but he'll earn $6.67MM in 2011.
- Joe Blanton – Blanton's availability has been well-documented. One obstacle for potentially interested teams: the right-hander's $8.5MM salary in 2011 and 2012.
- John Maine - Esmil Rogers could win the fifth spot in the Rockies' rotation over Maine, who has a June 1st opt-out clause.
- Jo-Jo Reyes* – As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained earlier in the month, the out-of-options left-hander is a possible trade candidate.
- Ryan Rowland-Smith* – The former starter is battling for a spot in the Astros' bullpen now that Nelson Figueroa has won their final rotation spot.
- Jeff Suppan – The Brewers scored six runs in one inning against their former teammate last week. It's pretty difficult to imagine a deal here.
- Under other circumstances, we could consider Tim Wakefield a trade candidate, since he won't necessarily make the Red Sox. It's not easy to imagine Boston trading the knuckleballer, though.
*denotes out of options player.