FanPost

Update on the Starting Pitching Market


As we enter the bargain bin shopping portion of the offseason (now that Dickey's gone), I thought I'd redo my previous post on the rotation needs of all thirty teams for the 2013 season. I kept updating that post until the free agency period opened, at which point it became too horrendous. Below I've redone most everything from scratch since so much has changed. More information and links can be found in the previous post, as what follows is more of a shorthand for what has happened in the last month or so.

The categories the teams find themselves in have been re-conceived to match the new stage of the offseason, but they bear many resemblances to the previous ones.

After the thirty rotations are listed, stay tuned for lists of remaining free agents and potential trade candidates.

*

WHAT I DON'T EVEN - 3 teams

Twins
Rotation: Diamond, Worley, Correia, Pelfrey (TJS last May). Re-tread depth: Harden, Hendriks, Duensing, De Vries, Blackburn, Deduno, Vasquez. New depth: Gibson, May.
~ UPDATE 12/21: Twins sign Harden on a minor-league deal. Minnesota is a good place for him to sign after missing a full season due to shoulder surgery.

Indians
Rotation: Masterson, McAllister, Jimenez, Myers. Depth: Bauer, Kluber, Carrasco (returning from a year lost to TJS, but freshly out of options), Huff, Kazmir, Matsuzaka.
~ Tomlin (TJS last August) could return by season's end, but his 2013 is basically lost.
~ UPDATE 1/1: Indians sign Myers with the intention of using him in their rotation.
~ UPDATE 2/10: Indians sign Matsuzaka to a minor-league deal. Good luck with that.

Rockies
Starting pitchers under contract/team control*: De La Rosa, Chacin, Nicasio, Francis, Pomeranz, Chatwood, Volstad, Friedrich. Deeper down: Bettis, Outman.

*I assume Colorado won't have a rotation as such, but that starting pitching will rather be on a volunteer basis from night to night.

*

BARGAIN BIN SHOPPERS - 6 teams

Padres
Rotation: Richard, Volquez, Marquis, Garcia, Stauffer. Midseason help: Luebke (TJS last May), Wieland (TJS last July). Promising depth: Cashner (thumb), Kelly. Further depth: Stults, Ross, Bass.
~ Cashner won't be ready for opening day after a hunting friend sliced his pitching thumb while the two were dressing meat.
~ Rumor has it they've been going after Jackson in the free agent market. That would be more than bargain bin shopping, but we shall see if it happens.
~ UPDATE 1/29: Padres sign Garcia and Stauffer to minor-league deals. Like Cashner, Stauffer might not be ready for opening day (due to elbow surgery last summer), but should be available before too long.

Pirates
Rotation: Burnett, Rodriguez, Liriano, McDonald, Karstens. Depth: McPherson (closest), Cole (bestest), Locke, Sanchez, Gomez, Mazzaro. Midseason help: Morton (TJS last June).
~ Top prospect Cole is on schedule to join the rotation some time in 2013, I assume as soon as his service time situation is maximalized.
~ UPDATE 12/21: Pirates sign Liriano on an affordable two-year deal. With enough minor-league depth in the queue, this may be it for their bargain shopping.
~ UPDATE 1/14: Pirates re-sign Karstens and his multiple health problems after non-tendering him in the fall.
~ UPDATE 2/6: Pirates sign Sanchez to a minor league deal. The Liriano signing has not yet been made official due to an offseason injury to his non-pitching arm, but it is expected to go through eventually.

Brewers
Rotation: Gallardo, Estrada, Fiers, Narveson. Swingman: Gorzelanny. Depth: Rogers, Peralta.
~ UPDATE 12/20: Brewers make a solid addition with lefty Gorzelanny.

Mariners
Rotation: Hernandez, Vargas, Saunders, Iwakuma, Ramirez, Beaven. Swingman: Noesi. Very promising depth: Hultzen, Walker, Paxton.
~ There's room for improvement, sure, but the team's not ready.
~ UPDATE 12/19: Mariners trade Vargas to bolster their offense. They could just use Noesi as the fifth man, but it shouldn't be too hard to attract someone like Marcum to their spacious park on a one-year deal.
~ UPDATE 2/7: On the same day we hear of King Felix's extension, we also hear the Mariners have agreed to sign Saunders to a one-year deal. He replaces Vargas, which is basically a wash in terms of production.

Astros
Rotation: Harrell, Norris, Lyles, Keuchel, Bedard. Depth: Cosart, Humber, White, Peacock, Weiland, Ely, Owens, Oberholtzer.
~ Norris could be traded for prospects.
~ UPDATE 1/21: Astros sign Bedard to a minor-league deal.

Marlins
Rotation depth chart: Nolasco, Turner, Alvarez, Eovaldi, LeBlanc. In case of emergency: Talbot, Slowey.
~ Nolasco and his $11.5M salary for 2013 comprise a trade candidate.

Mets
Guys who have been around: Santana, Niese, Marcum, Gee. Hot new guys: Harvey, Wheeler. Further depth: Mejia, Familia, McHugh, Hefner.
~ Before they traded Dickey, I had them in the "Yo La Tengo" section. So much for that. At least they got a good package in return.
~ UPDATE 1/24: Mets sign Marcum to a one-year deal.

*

ASPIRING TO BE MORE THAN BARGAIN BIN SHOPPERS - 1 team

Rangers
Rotation:
Darvish, Harrison, Holland, Ogando, Perez. Midseason help: Lewis. Depth: Grimm, Wells.
~ Candidate to overpay for Sanchez, Jackson, or Lohse.

*

GOOD ENOUGH, IT SEEMS... - 7 teams

~ ...but could bear improving.

Red Sox
Rotation: Lester, Buchholz, Dempster, Lackey, Doubront. Swingman: Morales. Depth: De La Rosa, Webster, Wright, Hernandez.
~ Good enough, it seems, but sure would be nice to upgrade. They're probably not going to upgrade.

Angels
Rotation: Weaver, Wilson, Vargas, Hanson, Blanton. Depth: Richards, Williams, Maronde.
~ Since the Hamilton signing, they have outfield depth to trade for pitching.
~ It may happen that they don't improve their rotation significantly, in which case I'm really puzzled that they would invest in their offense the way they have while only acquiring Blanton and a sharply declining Hanson.
~ UPDATE 12/19: Angels acquire Vargas from the Mariners, making a sixth starter out of Richards.

Yankees
Rotation depth list: Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes, Phelps, Nova, Pineda. Way down there: Warren.
~ I can't imagine what they'll do for 2014 when Kuroda, Pettitte, and Hughes are free agents and the budget is determined by the luxury tax threshold.

White Sox
Rotation: Peavy, Sale, Floyd, Danks (shoulder), Quintana. Depth: Santiago, Axelrod, Molina, Castro.
~ After the top two it's not impressive, but pitching coach Don Cooper excels at making do.

Royals
Rotation:
Shields, Guthrie, Santana, Davis, Chen. Midseason help: Duffy (TJS last May), Paulino (TJS last June). Depth: Mendoza, Hochevar, Smith, Teaford, Moscoso.
~ I mean, this isn't really good enough to meet their ambitions, but the budget is maxed out and they've already spent their best hitting and pitching prospects.

Orioles
Rotation: Hammel, Chen, Tillman, Gonzalez, Jurrjens. Depth: Bundy, Gausman, Wada, Britton, Arrieta, Hunter, Matusz, S. Johnson.
~ I say here "good enough", but this one is a head-scratcher. All options are on the table (re-signing Saunders, for example), except they probably don't have a lot of money to spend.
~ Top prospect Bundy was given a MLB debut in relief this past year; he's probably on schedule to be in the rotation by season's end.
~ UPDATE 1/24: Orioles sign Jurrjens to an incentive-laden major-league contract. He's heading into his age-27 season and is under team control through 2014.

Cubs
Rotation: Garza, Samardzija, Jackson, Wood, Baker (TJS last April). Swingmen: Feldman, Villanueva. Depth: Rusin, Raley, Vizcaino (TJS last March), Willis.
~ They probably need more depth just to get through the year, but I don't expect any real improvements coming. [Ha, I wrote that before they bid on Sanchez, which was surprising. I'm going to leave it, operating on the guess that they just really liked Sanchez. But who knows? Maybe they spring for Jackson.]
~ UPDATE 12/19: Cubs continue to sign the best of the bargain bin this year, joining Villanueva to their previous acquisitions of Baker and Feldman. I don't expect any more major-league signings from them, unless Garza is traded, but I think they'll wait till the deadline to do that.
~ UPDATE 12/20: Well, they've signed Jackson. I guess my real surprise here is that Villanueva didn't sign somewhere with more assurance of getting starts. Overall, it's easy to like what the Cubs have done with their pitching this offseason. They've given themselves a respectable bunch with depth from which to trade as they continue to build for the future.

*

YO LA TENGO - 12 teams

Blue Jays
Rotation: Dickey, Johnson, Morrow, Buehrle, Romero. Depth: Happ, Lincoln, Jenkins, McGowan (shoulder; out of options), Cecil, Germano.
~ Hutchison (TJS last August) could return by season's end, but his 2013 is basically lost. Drabek (TJS last June) could be a midseason replacement, but this is the second TJS for a guy who has never proven himself.

Phillies
Rotation: Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Kendrick, Lannan. Depth: Cloyd, Pettibone, Cook.
~ The back end ain't pretty, but you've got to give them credit for three aces.
~ UPDATE 1/16: Phillies get Cook on a minor-league deal.

Diamondbacks
Rotation: Miley, Kennedy, Cahill, McCarthy, Corbin. Midseason help: Hudson (TJS last July). Depth: Delgado, Skaggs, Collmenter.
~ UPDATE 1/24: Diamondbacks replace Bauer in their arsenal with the Braves' Delgado.

Giants
Rotation: Cain, Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Lincecum, Zito.

Reds
Rotation depth list: Cueto, Bailey, Latos, Arroyo, Chapman, Leake. Depth: Cingrani, Galarraga.

Braves
Rotation depth list: Hudson, Medlen, Minor, Maholm, Teheran. Midseason help: Beachy (TJS last June).
~ UPDATE 1/24: Braves trade young pitcher Delgado to Arizona for a second Upton.

Tigers
Rotation depth list: Verlander, Sanchez, Fister, Scherzer, Porcello, Smyly. Swingman: Below. Depth: Wilk, Crosby, Oliver.
~ Before signing Sanchez, they said they were confident with Smyly as the fifth man in their otherwise entirely right-handed rotation. I expect Porcello to be traded.

Athletics
Rotation depth list: Anderson, Parker, Colon, Milone, Griffin, Straily, Blackley, Gray, Werner.

Rays
Rotation depth list: Price, Moore, Hellickson, Niemann, Cobb, Archer, Odorizzi, Hernandez (Carmona).

Cardinals
Rotation: Wainwright, Garcia, Carpenter, Westbrook, Lynn. Promising depth: Miller, Rosenthal, Kelly.
~ UPDATE 2/5: Carpenter is injured and out for the season. Lynn is assured a rotation spot, and Miller and Rosenthal will compete for the final opening.

Nationals
Rotation: Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Haren, Detwiler. Depth: Young, Maya, Garcia, Rosenbaum, Ohlendorf, Duke.
~ Garcia is a candidate for conversion into a starter for depth's purposes, but that would be very risky given his injury history.

Dodgers
Rotation: Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Beckett, Billingsley (elbow), Lilly (shoulder), Capuano, Harang. Depth: Fife, Lee.
~ Billingsley threw without pain on 10/29, and it appears he will recover and be healthy for 2013.

*

FREE AGENTS REMAINING

~ under thirty in boldface

Kyle Lohse (34) - costs a draft pick

Roy Oswalt (35)
Carl Pavano (37)
Dallas Braden (29)
Chien-Ming Wang (33)
Dustin Moseley (31)
Derek Lowe (40)
Carlos Zambrano (32)
Kip Wells (36)

*

POTENTIAL SELLERS ON THE TRADE MARKET

Dodgers
~ Capuano - '13: $6M, '14: $8M mutual option ($1M buyout)
~ Harang - '13: $7M, '14: mutual option between $7M and $8M ($2M buyout)
~ perhaps Lilly, Beckett, or Billingsley -- they've plain got too many starters

Tigers
~ Porcello - 2nd-year Arb., Super 2 (MLBTR: $4.7M)

Astros
~ Norris - 2nd-year Arb. (MLBTR: $2.9M)

Marlins
~ Nolasco - '13: $11.5M (performance bonuses: $0.5M annually based on IP)

Braves
~ Delgado or Teheran
~ UPDATE 1/24: Delgado traded; I doubt Teheran would still be available, if ever he was.

Orioles
~ Britton, Arrieta, Hunter, Matusz?

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