We’ve seen movement on the relief market already, courtesy of the Braves. But the starting pitching market remains absolutely wide open and loaded with options, even after Jake Odorizzi decided against a full-blown open-market experience in favor of taking the qualifying offer.
Something will have to give at some point. There’s chatter already that some top players prefer not to experience the kind of lengthy waiting game that held sway over much of the market the past two winters. As importantly, the same appears to hold true for some teams. While there’s a lot of rotation supply, there’s also quite a lot of demand.
Indeed, there are so many starters populating MLBTR’s list of the top 50 free agents that it would be silly to consider them all here. We’ll focus on the eight top names — those that we see as having $20MM+ earning power on the open market. Will one of the big guns (Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg) go early and set the market? Or will some team seek to bypass a major bidding war by quickly nabbing one of the next-best names available (Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu)? Sturdy veterans Dallas Keuchel and Cole Hamels might seek early deals; the former lagged last winter and the latter has made clear he’s willing to do a one-year contract with a contender. Then again, there could be a run on Michael Pineda, who looks to be an interesting upside play.
What do you expect? (Poll link for app users. Response order randomized.)