FanPost

2013 Pitching Rotations: Status of All 30 Teams

Now that the 2012 World Series is over, I'd like to present a study I’ve made of the starting pitching for all thirty teams in the majors. My view is myopically geared toward the starting rotations designed this winter for the 2013 season. The purpose is to gauge the offseason’s starting pitcher market from the buyers’ perspectives. In categorizing the teams’ priorities in this regard, I found some differed in intensity, some in size. The categories and their constituents are as listed below [updated 10/31].

Within each category I’ve ordered the teams very roughly in terms of their ability to acquire pitchers to meet their needs. This was kind of difficult to do within the last category, however, as those teams rather are organized according to the degree that they have needs at all, in terms of acquiring starting pitchers, that is.

For research, I’ve made plenty use of MLBTradeRumors.com (MLBTR), with special attention to Ben Nicholson-Smith’s excellent Offseason Outlook series. And besides the normal reference sites (Cot’s, FG, B-Ref), I’ve also done rounds on OTM’s sister sites on SB Nation and other team blogs.

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MASSIVE PRIORITY – 4 teams

Twins according to reports are looking to acquire 3 starting pitchers.
Rotation: Diamond. Depth: None. I mean ... Blackburn? Gibson, Deduno, Vasquez.
~ Though Baker’s option will be declined, the Twins are interested in re-signing him (MLBTR).
~ With no rotation in place, no depth to speak of, and a park that suppresses power, expect Minnesota to be an attractive destination for multiple depth options on the free agent market. If I were a veteran looking at a minor-league deal, that’s where I’d sign.
~ "Can the Twins Fix Their Starting Rotation In One Winter?", Bill Parker, designated columnist at Twinkie Town
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/13: Surprisingly, they let Baker get away, to the Cubs. Now they're in even worse condition than I thought they'd be.

White Sox need to acquire at least 3 starting pitchers, I’d say, assuming the options for Peavy ($22M) and Floyd ($9.5M) will be turned down.
UPDATE 10/30: Well that changed quick. Peavy signs a 2-year extension, and Floyd's option is picked up.
DOWNGRADED TO LOWER PRIORITY
Rotation: [Peavy, Floyd] Sale, Danks (shoulder), Quintana. Depth: Santiago, Axelrod, Humber.
~ The excellent Sale is the only sure thing for Chicago’s rotation next year (which at least is more than these other teams can boast). Danks will be returning from shoulder surgery, Quintana has no track record of success and was poor in the second half, Santiago is a question mark between relieving and starting, and Axelrod and Humber represent depth at best. This is quite the mess for a new GM to be inheriting.
~ "White Sox final grades for 2012", Ken Neadly, South Side Sox
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Indians need 3 more starting pitchers (2 if they pick up Jimenez’ $5.75M option).
Rotation: Masterson, McAllister, a club option on Jimenez. Depth: Kluber, Carrasco (returning from a year lost to TJS, but freshly out of options), Gomez, Huff.
~ They might not want to pick up Jimenez’ option, but they might have to, given how little pitching they have. Tomlin had TJS in late August, and is basically out for the season. On McAllister’s emergence: see Mike Brandyberry, Did the Tribe Win Last Night? On the same site, see Steve Eby's article on Carrasco's expected return and his place in the 2013 rotation.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 10/31: The Indians have picked up the option for Jimenez and his 5.40 ERA. Though their pitching is still in bad shape, after careful thought I've decided they don't deserve to be ranked with the Twins and Rockies.
DOWNGRADED TO SUBSTANTIAL PRIORITY

Rockies. Avert your eyes (FanGraphs).
Starting pitchers under contract/team control: De La Rosa ($11M player option, which he is certain to exercise), Chacin, Nicasio, Pomeranz, Chatwood, White. Deeper down: Bettis, Outman, Moscoso.
~ The last resort of all free agent pitchers (just ask Jamie Moyer), Colorado can only acquire pitching via trades. Meanwhile their stock of trade chips is conspicuously low. O’Dowd has his work cut out for him.
~ "Where Are The Rockies Going With Their Pitching?", Jeff Aberle, Purple Row
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

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SUBSTANTIAL PRIORITY – 7 teams

Angels should be looking to acquire 2 starting pitchers.
Rotation: Weaver, Wilson, Richards. Depth: Williams, Maronde.
~ Not a terribly difficult situation to assess. They’ll spend whatever to sign Grienke. My guess is that they’ll decline Haren’s option ($15.5M), but extend a qualifying offer ($13.3M) that would earn them a compensation draft pick if he departs. If Grienke and Haren sign, they’re done; otherwise, they are competitors on the free agent market.
~ a good article on Haren, J.P. Breen, FanGraphs
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Yankees--probably looking to acquire 2 starting pitchers.
Current starter depth chart: Sabathia, [Kuroda,] Hughes, Phelps, Nova, Pineda. Way down there: Warren.
~ With CC possibly declining and question marks surrounding everyone else, they are in need of reloading. They could look to acquire two starters, perhaps re-signing Kuroda, for one. But I recommend instead that they re-convert Joba and sign Jamie Moyer. Their depth beyond the majors is nil; Banuelos, after missing most of 2012, will again miss all of 2013 (TJS in October).
~ "Making Decisions About the 2013 Yankees", Tanya Bondurant, Pinstriped Bible
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/20: Cherington fails to interfere with the Yankees' re-signing of Kuroda. Booooooo. Yankees have enough solutions now that they can be downgraded, but since they're always looking to be the best: DOWNGRADED TO CONCENTRATED PRIORITY.

Cubs are looking to acquire 2 starting pitchers, according to Epstein himself (MLBTR).
Rotation: Garza, Samardzija, Wood, [UPDATE: Baker]. Depth: Rusin, Raley, Germano.
~ The Cubs are likely to keep Garza for now; this would be the last year of his current contract. They hope he can build up enough value to be worth something at the trade deadline.
~ Al Yellon’s Final Season Grades and On 2013, Bleed Cubbie Blue
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/13: The Cubs sign Baker, who spent all last season recovering from TJS. It is a major-league contract, though I'm not certain they exactly see themselves as having one less opening in their rotation just yet.

Blue Jays should be looking to add at least 2 starting pitchers.
Rotation: [UPDATE: Johnson, Buehrle] Morrow, Romero, Happ. Depth: Alvarez, Jenkins, McGowan, Cecil.
~ Hutchison (Tommy John in August) could return by season’s end, but his 2013 is basically lost. Drabek (Tommy John in June) could be a midseason replacement, but this is the second TJS for a guy who has never proven himself. As usual, Anthopoulos prefers trades to free agent signings.
~ "Looking To Next Season: Blue Jays 2013 Starting Rotation?", Tom Dakers, Bluebird Banter
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/13: Loria offers to fill the two vacancies in the Blue Jays' rotation. If I were Anthopoulos, I'd still look to upgrade. DOWNGRADED TO LOWER PRIORITY.

Royals are looking to add 1 or 2 starting pitchers (and possibly to improve their depth) as they negotiate a situation where two Tommy John survivors won’t be ready in April.
Rotation: Chen, Mendoza, Paulino (TJS in June), Duffy (TJS in May), Hochevar (non-tender candidate). Promising depth: Odorizzi. Other depth: Volstad (claimed from the Cubs, 10/26/12), Smith, Mazzaro, Teaford.
~ Unfortunately, it’s difficult for the resource-strapped Royals to shuffle a fluid roster with Paulino and Duffy hopefully returning in the early months of the season. The owner has indicated he is willing to spend to help the rotation, which he correctly identifies as the source of the team’s failures. The GM has recently stated the team’s need is to build a rotation through development and trades as opposed to free agency, but leaks to the press suggest they are targeting Sanchez and Lohse. It is estimated they could have a base of $23M to spend this winter.
~ Hochevar is questionable to be brought back, as he is in his final year of arbitration eligibility but has thoroughly failed to deliver on his first-round potential.
~ Clark Fosler on the notion of contention in 2013, Royals Review (ignore the butchered title)
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 10/31: Royals acquire Santana from the Angels, what with his 5.16 ERA last year and a $12M price tag next year. The owner said he would spend, and Moore has made a risky move. I'll leave their status unchanged as they still have plenty of incentive to improve.
~ UPDATE 11/20: Royals sign Guthrie to a three-year deal. Their rotation now looks something like Guthrie, Chen, Santana, Mendoza, and a slew of guys with even more question marks than them -- importantly, with Paulino and Duffy as midseason replacements.

Pirates seem likely to acquire 1 or 2 starting pitchers depending on Karstens’ health.
Rotation: Burnett, Rodriguez, McDonald, Karstens (non-tender candidate). Depth: McPherson (closest), Cole (bestest), Locke, van den Hurk.
~ Karstens, eligible for arbitration, has a long track record of health problems, most recently in his shoulder, groin, and hip. It is unknown what the Pirates will do with him. Not dissimilarly, Morton (TJS in June), entering his second year of arbitration eligibility, is also a non-tender candidate.
~ "What the Pirates' offseason might look like", Charlie Wilmoth, Bucs Dugout
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Padres need to acquire at least 2 starting pitchers, as Byrnes’ top priority is starting pitching.
Rotation: Richard, Volquez. Promising depth: Cashner, Kelly. Further depth: Stults, Werner, Bass.
~ The currently disabled Luebke (TJS in May) and Wieland (TJS in July) could be midseason replacements. Both Stauffer and Moseley missed all but one start each this past season; clearing waivers, they have elected free agency. Stauffer is a candidate to be re-signed, but not so much Moseley (on which, see Wonko, Gaslamp Ball).
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

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CONCENTRATED PRIORITY – 4 teams

Red Sox should look to acquire at least 1 starting pitcher, with emphasis on quality.
Rotation: Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Doubront. Swingman: Morales. Depth: De La Rosa, Webster.
~ They’ve got plenty of money to spend now that Punto’s out of the way, but are wary of long-term contracts. Whether they get more than one starter will depend on their faith in Lackey to return from TJS successfully. For depth I’d expect them to sign a veteran on a minor-league deal, just perhaps not as many as last year, given the presence of a couple actual prospects at Triple-A.
~ Alex Speier, on the Red Sox’ approach to this offseason, WEEI
~ Tim Britton conducts an interior dialogue concerning all things Red Sox offseason, including whether or not to use a hyphen in the word offseason, Providence Journal
~ Also see the Armchair GM points of view here at OTM found in the story stream and in the FanPosts.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Dodgers, to meet their ambitions, are looking to upgrade on a currently full rotation.
Rotation: Kershaw, Beckett, Billingsley (elbow), Capuano, Harang, Lilly (shoulder). Depth: Fife, Lee.
~ The six pitchers listed in the rotation above are all under contract, but Billingsley had a partial UCL tear in his elbow; whether he will receive TJS and miss the season is still pending. Lilly is returning from shoulder surgery and should be ready for spring training. Expect them to look for mid-rotation upgrades, and be sellers on the trade market.
~ "2012 Dodgers exit interviews: Starting pitchers", Eric Stephen, True Blue LA
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE: Billingsley threw without pain on 10/29, and it appears he will recover and be healthy for 2013. This allows the Dodgers to enter the offseason from a position of great strength. I expect them at the least to make a big free agent signing and to trade Capuano and/or Harang.

Rangers should be looking to upgrade current options, adding at least 1 starting pitcher.
Rotation: Darvish, Harrison, Holland, Ogando. Depth: Lewis (scheduled to return from injury sometime early midseason), Perez, Grimm.
~ Still World Series contenders, they need constantly to refresh their top-end pitching. Feldman has a $9.25M club option destined to be declined, a bit much to pay for a swingman, as useful as he’s been over the years. Daniels has stated that they could move Feliz (TJS in August) back to the bullpen to facilitate an easier return. Perez beginning to make good on his potential would be a big boost to the organization.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/1: T.R. Sullivan of mlb.com reports the Rangers are determined to put Ogando in the rotation next year, adding also that they are seriously considering Greinke.

Brewers, dealing from a position of depth, should look to acquire 1 or 2 starting pitchers.
Rotation: Gallardo, Estrada, Fiers, Narveson. Depth: Rogers, Peralta.
~ They’re not able to pay much on the free agent market, and may end up leaning on their up-and-coming prospects (MLBTR, from Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). To hear the owner speak so frugally about their pitching staff, you wonder where in the world the Hamilton-to-Milwaukee rumors are coming from.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

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LOWER PRIORITY – 8 teams

Tigers should look to acquire 1 starting pitcher and improve their depth.
Rotation: Verlander, Fister, Scherzer, Porcello. Swingmen: Smyly, Below. Depth: Wilk, Crosby, Oliver.
~ They’ll need to re-sign or replace free agent Sanchez, as well as shore up the depth that they lost when they traded for him--losing Turner sort of decapitated their system. But for now their front three are good enough, I think, to categorize the team here in "lower priority", rather than "concentrated priority" where the need for a quality arm is greater. Coke and Smyly have started in the past, but might be best kept in the bullpen.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Nationals could look to upgrade their back-end with a mid-rotation quality arm and fill in their Triple-A team with depth.
Rotation: Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Detwiler, Lannan (in his third year of arbitration, newly out of options). Swingman: Gorzelanny. Depth (for which see Harper at Nationals Baseball): Maya, Garcia, Rosenbaum.
~ Having newly forged a winning formula last year based on an elite rotation, I’d expect them to add a rotation piece to replace the production of free agent Jackson. But then they first acquired the innings-eater Jackson because they were uncertain how much production they would get out of all their young starters, along with Wang coming back from two years of injury. Now that they have more confidence in their young starters, will they still feel the need to sign a Jackson-type?
~ Lannan, for his part, is again a trade candidate, as he continues to be expensive (relative to his value) and now is out of options and so can’t even be stored away for depth. For they are in sore need of depth. The Gonzalez trade gutted their upper minors last year, and now besides Jackson, they’re also losing Wang, Duke, and Perry (non-tender candidate).
~ Garcia is a candidate for conversion into a starter for depth’s purposes, but that would be very risky given his injury history (see Jared Book’s season review of Garcia at District on Deck).
~ "Washington Nationals' 2013 Rotation", Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Orioles should look to acquire 1 starting pitcher, but have interior options.
Rotation: Hammel, Chen, Tillman, Gonzalez. Depth: Bundy, Gausman, Wada, Britton, Arrieta, Hunter, Matusz, S. Johnson.
~ What will Duquette do? I don’t expect to predict the Orioles’ transactions this winter any more than I saw Hammel and Chen and Gonzalez coming. I’ve listed a bunch of names--you figure it out. Just get ready for the roster to look entirely different every other week during the season.
~ "Key to Sustaining Orioles' Success: Pitching, Pitching, Pitching", Cee Angi, designated columnist at Camden Chat
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Phillies could look to acquire a pitcher to help them win now, and probably deal a pitcher as well.
Rotation: Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Worley, Kendrick. Depth: Cloyd, May, Pettibone.
~ Something like the Royals’ entire payroll ($65.5M) goes to the big three alone. The back end behind them can be upgraded. The Phillies have an out-of-balance roster and dreams of contention. I expect them to deal from their pool of pitchers, acquiring replacements from elsewhere. It might be tough, though, as the offense is their real priority.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Diamondbacks have 1 spot to fill until Hudson returns midseason, with a pair of options presenting themselves from within the organization.
Rotation: Miley, Kennedy, Cahill, Corbin. Promising depth: Bauer, Skaggs. Other depth: Collmenter
~ Hudson (TJS in July) should return as a midseason replacement. Until then, Towers has said that they will seek veteran pitching and that any pitching they get will come via trade. They have little to spend in their budget (see Dan Strittmatter, AZ Snake Pit). On Corbin, see Paul Swydan, FanGraphs.
~ "The Diamondbacks Season And Winter: Reading Between The Lines", Jim McLennan, AZ Snake Pit
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Mariners could do some tinkering, but their woeful offense takes all the priortity.
Rotation: Hernandez, Vargas, Ramirez, Beaven, Noesi. Very promising depth: Hultzen, Paxton, Walker.
~ Not poised to contend, the Mariners have other areas to address as they watch their star pitching prospects mature. Vargas, in his final year of team control, is a trade candidate. Free agent Iwakuma is a candidate for re-signing.
~ Dave Cameron’s 2013 Off-Season Plan, U.S.S. Mariner (spoiler alert: he wants to give Nick Swisher nine figures and seven years)
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/2: Mariners extend Iwakuma, who slots somewhere in the middle of their rotation.

Marlins could look for some bargains, could also sell a pitcher.
Rotation depth chart: Johnson, Nolasco, Buehrle, Turner, Eovaldi, LeBlanc, [Alvarez].
~ The team is far enough away from contention that they are more likely to trade away a starter than significantly improve the rotation. I’d expect them to fill out their rotation depth with bargain bin shopping as they address greater needs in their organization.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/13: What the hell, Loria.

Astros are low on pitching but have a greater priority to rebuild than to acquire.
Rotation: Harrell, Norris, Lyles, Keuchel. New depth: Cosart, Owens, Oberholtzer. Old depth: Weiland, Gonzalez, Abad.
~ Even though short on pitching, the Astros could still possibly deal Norris, due for a raise in his first year of arbitration. They are so, so far from contention, their only priority can be improving their farm system. The other teams in the AL West are going to love these guys. For what it’s worth, though, their pitching this year may not have been as bad as their awful defense made it look (see clack, The Crawford Boxes). Cosart, their best pitching prospect, ended this year in Triple-A and is likely to see action next season in the bigs. On Oberholtzer, see What the Heck, Bobby?
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/1: Three DFAs: Gonzalez and Abad become free agents; Weiland (former Red Sox) remains with the club at Triple-A.

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MINIMAL PRIORITY – 7 teams

Giants are getting the gang back together again, but lack a plan B.
Rotation: Cain, Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Lincecum, Zito--all under contract for 2013.
~ Look for them to add insurance to the back end. It has been reported both that Lincecum is unlikely to be moved and that Sabean has ruled out using him as a reliever (MLBTR). On account of this information I put them at "minimal priority". I think their need is greater than that, though.
~ I’d ask McCovey Chronicles what they think of the Giants’ rotation next year, but they appear a little busy at the moment.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Reds are set in their rotation, but have a depth problem.
Rotation: Cueto, Arroyo (under contract); Bailey, Latos, Leake (arbitration eligible). Depth: Cingrani. Their Bard conundrum: Chapman (though Miller might be a better comparison).
~ The problem is not just that they lack depth, but that they also lack openings in their rotation to attract free agent depth. That won’t be a problem if, as in 2012, their original 5-man rotation starts every game of the year but one. Yeah, I’m sure the odds are good that’ll happen in back-to-back years. Those problems Cueto had with his back in the postseason, they’re probably nothing. But nonetheless they should probably do whatever’s reasonable to make their Triple-A pitching as good as possible.
~ Now, it seems to be an issue within the organization whether or not to convert Chapman into a starter (they're certainly paying him as one). He could take Leake’s spot in the rotation, and then they’d have more depth. I personally don’t think it’s in their best interest to do this. I think being stretched out as a starter would expose Chapman’s control problems.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Athletics could add a veteran, but probably would do just fine with the kids.
Rotation depth list: Anderson, Parker, Milone, Griffin, Straily, Blackley, Peacock, Cole, Ross, Braden (candidate to be non-tendered and re-signed).
~ Phew, are you done? This is an excellent team that Oakland will actually be able to afford for a couple years. Besides all the kids, though, I could see them signing a veteran to help out. McCarthy is available, and he’s family. I sure hope he can return to form wherever he lands.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 11/3: A's re-sign Colon, the veteran to help out the kids (though they are reportedly still in on McCarthy). I suppose they didn't mind the PED suspension.

Braves are in the position to pick up a couple of easy options on current contracts and besides that (if they get bored), look for some minor league depth.
Rotation depth list: Hudson (club option), Medlen, Minor, Maholm (club option), Hanson, Delgado, Teheran, Beachy (due to return midseason from TJS last June). (Jurrjens is a likely non-tender candidate.)
~ This strong core underperformed this year (compared to their potential). Hanson’s diminishing velocity is particularly troublesome. Atlanta’s limited resources will likely be spent elsewhere, though, as pitching is still their organization’s greatest strength. It may be that to save some cash, ties are cut with Hanson altogether and his place in the rotation given to either Delgado or Teheran.
~ "Atlanta Braves Off-Season Questions: Who's In The Rotation", gondeee, Talking Chop
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR
~ UPDATE 10/30: The Braves picked up the options for Hudson and Maholm, as expected.

Rays are all good, thanks.
Rotation depth list: Price, Shields, Moore, Hellickson, Niemann, Cobb, Archer, Davis.
~ They’re still the best in my mind. They could do a downgrade deal, though, to help their ailing offense. Most offseason speculation about the Rays concerns precisely that.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Mets can afford to trade a guy.
From the old rotation: Dickey ($5M club option), Santana, Niese, Gee. Hot new guys: Harvey, Wheeler. Further depth: Mejia, Familia, McHugh, Hefner.
~ Expect them to trade from this their position of strength in order to bolster their offense. The quality of the pitcher they trade will depend on how close they think they are to competing. Their lineup has a bunch of holes, and their bullpen was awful.
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

Cardinals are set--potentially for a while.
Rotation: Wainwright, Carpenter, Garcia, Westbrook, Lynn. Promising depth: Kelly, Miller, Rosenthal.
~ Of the four old guys listed, each has his health questions, but hey, there are years and years of control left for the four young guys listed. With a terrific offense to boot, St. Louis is really an elite organization (on which, see tom s., Viva El Birdos).
~ "Rotation 2013", Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
~ Offseason Outlook at MLBTR

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So now I suppose it's time to play matchmaker.

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