It seems hard to believe that there’s anything left on the starting pitching market given the number of major signings we’ve already seen, but that’s mostly a reflection of the deep and talented free agent pool this offseason. Over $1B has already been spent on rotation arms, but there’s still plenty of interesting names left.
With pitchers (and catchers) set to report in about a month, here’s an overview of what remains on the open market for teams looking to add to their starting staff:
- Yovani Gallardo — He entered the winter with similar expectations to Ian Kennedy, bested him handily in a recent poll here at MLBTR, and then watched as Kennedy landed $70MM with an opt-out. There still seems to be plenty of interest in the veteran righty, though, and teams looking for a steady veteran arm may not have any better options.
- Doug Fister — Though he seemed like a classic free agent who’d look for one year to re-establish value, the towering hurler is hoping for a two-year deal and could still be a great value.
- Mat Latos — While he still has plenty of upside, especially given his age, Latos had a roller-coaster 2015 and comes with real reputation issues. Last we heard, there are at least a handful of teams with interest.
- Kyle Lohse — He struggled badly in 2015, but his swinging strike rate was on the rise and he posted an atypically-high (for him) .314 BABIP and 15.3% HR/FB rate. And it’s hard to completely ignore the four-year run of success that preceded last year.
- Alfredo Simon — He could be classed more as a swingman candidate, since his sudden success as a starter in 2014 looks like an isolated phenomenon, but Simon said he battled a knee injury last year and might still be viewed as a potential candidate to return to his ’14 form — with the downside of going back to being a solid reliever — though his market has been quiet.
- Bronson Arroyo — Was as durable as they came until he wasn’t, but still seems a reasonably likely candidate to fill some innings for some time to come.
- Chad Billingsley — Struggled in 2015 and ended with yet more injuries, but is still just 31 years old.
- Josh Johnson — Likely out for all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery, he is still young enough (he’ll soon turn 32) that a club could sign him to some form of deal that would allow him to rehab in hopes of a 2017 return.
- Cliff Lee — All indications are he’ll require a fairly significant contract to give it another go. While that’s tough to do with a 37-year-old who just tried to rest and rehab a flexor strain, most such pitchers don’t have Lee’s lengthy record of dominance, which stretched into the 2014 season.
- Tim Lincecum — Most pitchers also don’t have Lincecum’s track record, either, and he’s much younger (31). But he’s also much further removed from dominance. Still, the promise of a rebound after recent hip surgery will lead to interest.
- Cory Luebke — He hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012, but will be an interesting rehabilitation project entering his age-31 campaign.
- Justin Masterson — Despite failing to make good on his make-good deal last year, he’s drawing interest and is expected to be ready to go this spring as he tries to bounce back from shoulder surgery.
- Mike Minor — Shoulder issues have been a major problem for Minor, who seemed headed for an arbitration tender from the Braves until he suffered a setback. But he only just turned 28, has another year of arb control, and has shown his share of promise in the majors.
- Chris Capuano — Struggled last year while being repeatedly designated, outrighted, and re-added to the 40-man by the Yankees, but still gets double-digit swinging strike rates.
- Aaron Harang — Didn’t follow up on a stellar 2014 as injuries intervened, and may yet retire, but would be an intriguing piece for the right team.
- Shaun Marcum — Had good results last year at Triple-A and built up some innings after a long layoff.
- Wandy Rodriguez — Ate some frames for the Rangers at a time when they really needed it, drew serviceable ratings from advanced metrics, and could be a useful depth piece.
- Eric Stults — Last year was tough, but he’s been useful and posted some sturdy innings tallies in recent years.
- Randy Wolf — Didn’t have much of a big league opportunity in 2015, but posted a 2.58 ERA in 139 2/3 Triple-A frames.
- Jerome Williams — Might be tough to find a rotation job out of camp, but he’s still a steady and respected veteran who’ll have interest.
- Joe Blanton — Suddenly blossomed into an ace reliever and teams may see more value in plugging him into the pen. He’s reportedly drawing strong interest, though his market has been quiet of late.
- Mark Buehrle — Indications are he’s going to retire, and probably would only consider a limited number of teams if he returns, but would be quite an interesting target if he decides to play.