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MLBTradeRumors: Taking Stock of the Starting Pitching Market


VariousCrap

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The majority of people seem to expect Eppler to eventually trade for a SP sometime this off-season, but there are still some SP's available.

Would any of these guys be worth it???

MLBTradeRumors Breakdown:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/12/taking-stock-of-the-starting-pitching-market.html

 

So with all the high-end options gone, what’s left on the market?

Steady Innings

Ivan Nova has averaged 30 starts per season dating back to 2016. He had a strong finish after a brutal start to the season with the White Sox in 2019. He’s probably going to post an ERA north of 4.00 with well below-average strikeout totals, but Nova is the best bet for serviceable bulk innings remaining in free agency. Other options in this mold include Jhoulys Chacin, Andrew Cashner and Jason Vargas. They’ve all been roughly 30-start-per-season arms since 2017, although both Chacin and Cashner lost starting jobs and were put into the bullpen in 2019. There’s not much excitement among this bunch, but if you’re looking for 150+ innings that won’t kill you, this isn’t a bad place to start.

Injury Bounceback Candidates

Alex Wood will turn 29 in January and, in 2017-18, posted a combined 304 innings of 3.20 ERA ball (3.43 FIP) with 8.5 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate better than 50 percent. The lefty’s delivery has led to durability issues throughout his career, but when healthy he’s at least a midrotation arm, if not more.

Jimmy Nelson, long a top prospect with the Brewers, looked like an emerging ace in 2017 when he pitched 175 1/3 innings with a 3.49 ERA, an even more impressive 3.05 FIP, 10.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a 50.3 percent grounder rate. Shoulder issues wiped out most of his 2018-19 seasons, but Nelson won’t turn 31 until next June.

Let’s not forget Taijuan Walker, who’ll pitch all of next year at 27. Once one of baseball’s truly elite pitching prospects, he’s barely pitched since 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. Walker tallied 157 1/3 innings of 3.49 ERA ball with 8.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent ground-ball rate with the D-backs in ’17. He’s had no shortage of injury troubles in his career, but Walker offers as much upside as any still-unsigned player on the market.

Meanwhile, Danny Salazar has pitched in only one game (four innings) in the past two seasons but will pitch next year at 30 and has averaged better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings in his MLB career. Tyson Ross has completed just one healthy season in his past four but was an All-Star caliber pitcher back in 2014-15. Aaron Sanchez could technically slot into this bucket as well, but it’s still not fully clear when in 2020 he’ll be ready to pitch after undergoing shoulder surgery late in the season.

Veterans with a Bit of Upside

As improbable as it’d have sounded 12 months ago, Homer Bailey is probably among the more intriguing low-cost arms on the market. The 33-year-old never lived up to his $105MM contract in Cincinnati, but in 2019 he posted slightly below-average strikeout rates, better-than-average walk rates and solid ground-ball tendencies. Bailey’s 10.8 percent swinging-strike rate in 2019 was the second-best of his career.

Drew Smyly quietly turned in a solid showing with the Phillies down the stretch, and posted a huge 12.2 percent swinging-strike rate after signing in Philadelphia. His teammate, Jerad Eickhoff, is “only” 29 but hasn’t had a strong showing since the 2016 campaign.

Veteran Reclamation Projects

Several pitchers on the market carry name value but minimal results in recent years. Felix Hernandez, Matt Harvey, Marco Estrada, Wei-Yin Chen, Clayton Richard, Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill are all free agents, but no one from that group has been particularly healthy or effective over the past few seasons (although Buchholz’s injury-shortened 2018 season in Arizona was undeniably impressive). Shelby Miller is younger than anyone in that group, but his struggles over the past several seasons are well-documented at this point.

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I think this rotation is pretty much set in terms of competing for the division.  If we want to compete for a title I think we need to add one more top starter. I wouldn't mind buying low on some reclamation projects to see if they can regain their former stuff maybe just take on Price's contract from the Red Sox and see if he and Maddon can recapture the old magic. 

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I'd be in favor of both trading for a starter AND taking a flyer on Wood or Nelson. Can't have too much pitching and as we've seen the past for years that Eppler has failed to address the lack of pitching, being at least 8 deep is a necessity, more like 10 deep.

And right now, the Angels depth chart is Ohtani, Heaney, Canning, Teheran, Bundy, Sandoval, Barria and Suarez. Seeing as the Angels with Ohtani in the rotation will be operating with a six man staff half the time, only being 8 deep leaves practically no margin for error.

I think one option would be to acquire pitchers with mid rotation potential or better. Something like Luis Rengifo for Cal Quantrill, and sign Alex Wood.

Enter Spring Training with an open competition for two spots in the six man rotation between Canning, Sandoval, Quantrill, Wood, Barria and Suarez. 

Whoever misses out, you can slot one in the bullpen and the other three in the minors. Then, inevitably when Heaney gets injured, two of the minor leaguers aren't working on proper rest, and whatever other freak injured occurs, you still have the depth to maintain a competitive rotation and stay within the race.

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40 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Enter Spring Training with an open competition for two spots in the six man rotation between Canning, Sandoval, Quantrill, Wood, Barria and Suarez. 

I don’t think they’re actually going to have six pitchers on the big club. The sixth would be someone (probably multiple guys given the call up rules) with options. 

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9 minutes ago, Pancake Bear said:

I don’t think they’re actually going to have six pitchers on the big club. The sixth would be someone (probably multiple guys given the call up rules) with options. 

It's more like five and a half man rotation. The average starter in a five man rotation, if healthy makes six starts a month. If healthy, Ohtani will make four. So the other guy will be on hand to make two and give the bullpen depth. He may even make semi-consistent spot starts to avoid needing to use the 15 day IL as much.

Edited by Second Base
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On 12/31/2019 at 9:09 PM, Tyler said:

If this is accurate, there's a pretty fascinating group of options in there, and goes to show the offseason is a long ways from being over, and that there's plenty of options out there for the Angels to still shop on. 

I'd like to see Eppler kick the tires on Eduardo Rodriguez, Jake Junis, Daniel Norris, and see which ATL SP prospect could be offered up for Marsh.

Edited by totdprods
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14 minutes ago, totdprods said:

All the Taijuan Walker buzz has me remembering that we basically already signed a similar project in Luiz Gohara. Not to say we couldn't sign another, but Gohara's sort of filling that 'slot' on the depth charts and isn't mentioned here often.

Holy shit. Totally forgot we had that guy. He was a big name prospect a couple years ago. Then the injuries. Throw him in the bullpen.

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25 minutes ago, totdprods said:

All the Taijuan Walker buzz has me remembering that we basically already signed a similar project in Luiz Gohara. Not to say we couldn't sign another, but Gohara's sort of filling that 'slot' on the depth charts and isn't mentioned here often.

I could be wrong but aren’t they two different types of injuries?  I thought Gohara was shoulder which can be the kiss of death for a pitcher while Walker is elbow and he had TJ surgery.   Did Walker have other injuries?  

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25 minutes ago, Stradling said:

I could be wrong but aren’t they two different types of injuries?  I thought Gohara was shoulder which can be the kiss of death for a pitcher while Walker is elbow and he had TJ surgery.   Did Walker have other injuries?  

They are - I wasn't comparing them by injury or even exactly by production, both just sort of fall into the 'young SP who was once a top prospect, had injuries, and could still have promise' category that would comprise good depth. Walker's probably a safer bet because of his injury, but he'll also cost millions more.

Also, the fact that Walker missed two entire seasons with TJS and didn't make any official rehab appearances last year (aside from his lone inning) and the relative lack of interest this winter leads me to believe that there might be something else going on with him too. Seems a little weird. Just as the non-tender did.

Edited by totdprods
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