Blog Entry

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

Posted on: December 19, 2010 5:47 pm
Now that Zack Greinke is in the Brew City, where does that leave teams seeking an arm?

Options are dwindling fast, which will be to the benefit to free-agent pitchers or teams with pitching to deal.

With that in mind, here are the five best options left on the market. This does not include pitchers that may be available but have not been reported to be such and also does not include Andy Pettitte, who will either return to the Yankees or retire.

Rank Who Why
Matt Garza
Garza is actually not as good as his career ERA (3.97) might indicate thanks to a 4.45 xFIP, but the 27-year-old has age and contract on his side, with three years of arbitration eligibility left. He has topped 200 innings the last two years and could blossom in the NL Central. The Rays need salary relief, but would probably prefer to deal Shields (No. 5 on this list) instead. The Rangers figure to be the top bidder for his services, but he has been most closely linked to the Cubs.
Ricky Nolasco
Contract extension talks have broken down between the Fish and Nolasco, so the club has been fielding calls on the right-hander. While Florida has reportedly planned to retain Nolasco through the next two seasons regardless, the club would move Nolasco in the right deal. He would likely cost more than Garza to get a deal done, but his unlucky streak of ball the last three years may chill offers enough that he remains in Florida.
3 Blanton
Joe Blanton
Why Blanton over Carl Pavano, No. 4 on the list? Simple: Pavano is seeking three years and $36 million, while Blanton is due $17 million over the next two years and Philadelphia will likely eat part of his deal to trade him. Meanwhile, Blanton's xFIP over the last two years is similar to Pavano's, and Blanton edges Pavano in age. As a back-of-the-rotation innings eater who keeps teams in games, Blanton's pretty snazzy.
4 Pavano
Carl Pavano
That's not to say that Pavano isn't valuable. The best free-agent starter left on the market (and the only free agent on the list, which speaks volumes), has returned to his innings-chomping ways and hurled 221 frames in 2010. He should be good for an ERA around 4.00 the next couple of years and would do well near the top of a rotation, but he's not an ace. The Twins remain the favorites for his services.
5 Shields
James Shields
Shields actually may be a better pitcher than Garza despite his 5.18 ERA. His xFIP was 3.72, a career-low and has a better track record when it comes to durability. However, that ERA will scare off suitors as well. He has one year of a guaranteed salary remaining, but three club options at escalating prices that could drop him behind Garza in contract status.

-- Evan Brunell

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Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2010 12:09 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

Hawkman, you have to stop making up stuff.  Charley is absolutely right.  Blanton has that bad 1st month, month and a half, then pitches great the rest of the year.  Granted, he pitches for a great team, and 2010 was nowhere as good as 2009, but the numbers Charley quoted are the absolute truth.  He did not say he finished in the 2s or 3s, he said that Blanton's ERA was in the 2s and/or 3s over certain periods of time.  Maybe you should look it up....I did to verify before I posted. 

Just like a Yankee fan, if you aren't right about something, lie about it.  Maybe calling you an idiot was not fair...he should have said that you were a liar.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2010 9:55 am

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

Hawkman...In 2009 his numbers were in the 2s the rest of the way.  I remember the announcers laying it out during the playoffs and World Series that year.  I knew they had been good, but they showed the stats on the tv and his name (unbelievably) was up there with the Lee's and the Halladays...he had well over a 7 after his first 6 starts.  that took him into May.  So you are saying his nice stretch, plus over 5 from July on, and he still had a 4.06 ERA???  Not possible.  You are insane.  Nothing made up...2010 wasn't as good, but he was hurt the first month, came back and had that terrible ERA again first month, then had an ERA of 3.94 (last 17 starts of a 28 start season)...and it was 3.23 for his last 11 starts (12 appearances) of a 28 start season.

So YOU obviously are making things up.  I only speak facts, not fiction, idiot.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:40 am

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

Abner, I think you're worried with good reason.  For all of the "the Yankees always get what they want" talk, they wanted Grienke and Lee and didn't get either of them.  I can't remember a Yankees rotation as unreliable as the one projected for 2011.  They'd have to give up a ton (an unrealistic ton) to pry Felix Hernandez from Seattle after the Mariners just signed him to a reasonable extension.  I think you're right - Sheilds or Garza may go somewhere to make room for Hellickson, but its hard to see the Rays trading him within the division.  And the Yankees farm system isn't producing what it did 15 years ago - getting some of the guys that could really help them would be tough because several other teams can package better prospects or young vets.  The only young vets the Yankees really have who aren't priced through the roof are Cano and Hughes (unless I'm missing someone), who are critical to their success right now.

Its going to be an interesting season.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:31 am

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

  But then you look at the rest of his season and his ERA was in the 2's.  In 2010 he started off on the DL, then he had his 1 bad month again, and voila, his numbers were again in the 2's or low 3's the rest of the way.

Dude, if you're going to call someone an idiot and brag about your baseball knowledge, you might want to stop making stuff up. 

Blanton's 1 bad month was followed by several more.  He never approached "2s or low 3s the rest of the way"  His ERA was almost 6 after the first month and almost 5 at the end of the season.  He settled down from horrible to average.  June 32 innings, 23 runs, July 37 innings, 22 runs - That makes a "2 or low 3?"  Not hardly, sport.  After 3 horrible months his ERA was around 3.50 the rest of the season.  Half the season terrible, half ok. 

In 2009 he had a decent stretch in the middle of the season, but his ERA after July 25 was well over 5.  No "2s or low 3s the rest of the way". 

But hey, what do you know?

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: December 20, 2010 5:23 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

The irony here is that the Yanks need pitching and Pavano is the best FA option. Would they take the plunge on him again at this point? Know it's unlikely but after the Lee saga, anything can happen.

Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2010 1:50 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

right..if Webb is healthy is another category...Greinke has diamond stuff..maybe try to deal for King FElix

Since: Aug 6, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2010 12:48 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available


Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: December 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

It looks like the Yankees are chasing Freddy Garcia(poor choice) Mark Buehler (at least he's LH in Yankee Stadium) or Big "Z" with the emotional capacity of a 5 yr old.  I am worried!

The Yanks are just an SP and an RP away from another good run.  I know the Yanks usually try to steer away from head cases but, personally, I would give Zambrano a chance.  The man's got a temper but another way to look at it is that he has a burning desire to win.  If the Yanks were somehow able to harvest that desire into wins, they'd have a pretty good 4 pitcher in their rotation.  As far as RP goes, they should go for Fuentes.  With Zambrano and Fuentes, the Yanks are back in the playoffs.

Since: Oct 31, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2010 12:06 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available


Remind me why you are worried?

You are a New York Yankees fan! Regardless of the player personnel, the Yankees find a way to win every single year.
I absolutely hate to say it, but the Yankees are one of the best run teams in baseball, and they will find the missing piece for their rotation, just give them time.

Mind you, all of this is coming from a Baltimore fan, someone with no worries, but no hopes either.
All is well in Yankee Land. Cool your jets, bro.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: December 20, 2010 10:55 am

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

Dear Hawkman77,
I was intrigued by this article as a avid baseball fan but as a Yankee Fan NONE of these pitchers are even viable options.  I agree Pettitte helps the Yankees but I don't see TB trading Garza or Shields to the Yankees, Greinke is gone and was not a fit in NY, Pavano has been tried before and probably the worst $40 mil they ever spent; Blanton is barely a .500 SP and Nolasco seems to be re-upping for 3 yrs with the Marlins (even though he would be a welcome addition in NYY land).  It looks like the Yankees are chasing Freddy Garcia(poor choice) Mark Buehler (at least he's LH in Yankee Stadium) or Big "Z" with the emotional capacity of a 5 yr old.  I am worried!

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