Tuesday, May 24

MLB Business Market: Does Your Favorite Club Need a Starting Pitcher? Good luck with that

If your favorite team is competing for a playoff spot, or harbors dreams of competing, chances are you can use an extra starting pitcher or two to strengthen your rotation. Your favorite team is not alone, because there is no such thing as having too many quality starting pitchers, not when the goal is to win a title.

However, getting that help will not be easy. The costs are high. Supplies are low. Think of the commercial market as trying to find a cheap rental car or baseball / basketball cards at a retail store. It’s probably not happening.

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Cardinals president of operations John Mozeliak was seeking help in the market a few weeks ago, after ace Jack Flaherty landed in IL and spoke to reporters about that experience on Monday: “We really didn’t see much out there that We thought it was going to make a difference. ”

Yes. The harvests are scarce and the prices are high. Not exactly a shopper’s paradise. Let’s analyze the market.

Hey, we’re good! No offers now

Once upon a time, the Reds were almost likely to part ways with either of them Sonny gray or Luis Castillo, or maybe even both. But now? They are 15-10 in June and have a chance to compete for the NL Central title, which would be the first consecutive playoff spots since the days of the Big Red Machine in the mid-1970s. They are still six behind the Brewers, but at the moment it seems doubtful that the Reds will eliminate any of the pitchers any time soon. However, a losing streak in the All-Star break could change that.

Same for Max scherzer. The future free agent was to be the prize for this trade deadline, a veteran three-time Cy Young winner who is still pitching at an elite level. Anticipating the inevitable trade rumors, his agent, Scott Boras, went so far as to say that Scherzer would require an extension to waive his non-trade rights. But the Nationals have had a splendid June, going 17-9 to rank second in the NL East, three games behind a Mets team struggling to find offense. Same as the Reds – they probably won’t sell unless things fall apart.

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Oh, and not much was expected of the Giants this year, was it? The thought that came into the season was that Kevin Gausman, who accepted the team’s extended qualifying offer last offseason, would be traded if he was having a solid season. A quick look at the ranking shows why that won’t happen. The Giants are one of the best teams in baseball, and Gausman would be the best Cy Young candidate if Jacob deGrom didn’t exist.

Maybe when he’s healthy?

This year’s most famous unofficial no-hitter belongs to Madison bumgarner, a seven-inning gem against the Braves in late April. That was part of a brilliant streak that produced a 0.90 ERA in five starts. But since then? A 10.13 ERA in four starts and his current spot on the disabled list with shoulder problems. He shouldn’t be out for long, but no one is trading for a starter with a sore shoulder.

John means He was red-hot to start the season, pitching a no-hitter and recording a stellar start after a stellar start. He’s under the club’s control until 2025, which means that if the Orioles decided to move him for the right offer, it would have to be a ransom, it would be the win-now, win-later type of addition to many forward-thinking teams. ask. Remember how the White Sox got Eloy Jiménez for a couple of years from José Quintana? Well, Means is on the disabled list with a shoulder problem and is expected to come out of the All-Star Game.

Matthew boyd He’s another lefty with a lot of potential and a bit of club control (he’s eligible for refereeing for the last time this offseason, then he can be a free agent after the 2022 season). Like Means, he was riding along with a solid recovery year – 3.44 ERA in 13 starts after a 6.71 mark in 12 starts in 2020, but like Means, he’s in the IL for at least the Game break. Stars (tendonitis / inflammation in his left arm).

And, another pitcher with a solid start but now on the disabled list: Miguel PinedaHis career bounced back in Minnesota, where he posted a 3.86 ERA in 42 starts since 2019, including a 3.70 mark in 2021. But he’s been at IL since June 14 with forearm strain, though he likely came back before Means or Boyd.

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James paxton signed a one-year contract with the Mariners this offseason. It seemed like a great fit; the big left-hander was returning to his baseball home, where he would revive his career and maybe bring back a decent prospect or two when he was finally traded. No. He made a start, faced five batters, and had to leave. Tommy John’s surgery ended his season.

So who is really available and healthy?

Here are seven pitchers that could be moved sometime next month.

1. Kyle Gibson, Rangers: This is Gibson’s ninth year in the majors and it has never been better. He has one year left on his contract, a steal of $ 7 million if he pitches like that. Gibson, a right-hander who played his college ball at Mizzou, leads the American League with his 2.00 ERA. In a season in which starting pitchers regularly retire after five innings, Gibson has lasted at least six full frames in 12 of his 15 starts, including at least seven five times.

It’s the prize in the market right now, and someone will have to overpay to get it. Remember, though, the Rangers had a similar situation last year at the trade deadline with Lance Lynn, a very effective pitcher with a year left on his contract, and they didn’t end up trading him until the offseason.

2. Danny Duffy, Royals: He also spent time at the IL, missing a few weeks with a forearm problem. Duffy was stellar before hitting the shelf, posting a 1.94 ERA in seven starts. The Royals have slowly brought him back into the mix. He’s a free agent after this season, and it’s not out of the question for the Royals to keep him at the right price. It’s also not crazy to think that they would trade him now, get some prospects in return, and then try to bring him back as a free agent after the season.

3. Jon Gray, Rockies: After this year he is a free agent, so he will almost certainly be transferred. The Rockies’ quest for that to happen got a boost when Gray returned from a season in IL and pitched five scoreless innings, striking out 10 at Milwaukee against the Brewers in first place. For the season, he has a 3.97 ERA in 13 starts, and he’s actually been better in Colorado (3.25 ERA) than on the road (5.32 ERA).

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4. Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks: Kelly is a unique story. He didn’t make his MLB debut until he was 30; After struggling in the minors, he found his way as a reliable starter in Korea. The Diamondbacks signed him before the 2019 season to a three-year deal with an option for 2023 ($ 5.25 million). He’s had some rocky stretches in 2021, but has only allowed one run in his last two starts, covering 13 innings.

5. German Márquez, Rockies: He’s less likely to move than Gray, mainly because it will cost more and the Rockies don’t have to move him. Marquez has a contract for $ 26 million, total, for 2022-23, with a club option of $ 16 million (purchase of $ 2.5 million) for 2024. He has a 3.99 ERA and a 3.51 FIP this year; His walk rate has risen, but his strikeout numbers are just about his career average (8.9 out of nine).

6. Tyler Anderson, Pirates: He’s not the guy you trade for as a postseason ace, but he’s a guy who could help you get there. His ERA isn’t great (4.75), but look at Anderson this way: When he starts, his team will most likely be in the ballgame in the second half of the contest. He has allowed more than three earned runs just three times in his 15 starts, and has lasted at least five innings each time a game has started. What more do you want from a No. 4 or 5 starter if you’re looking for a playoff spot?

7. Mike Minor, Royals: The 33-year-old is set to make $ 10 million in 2022, with a club option of $ 13 million ($ 1 million purchase) by 2023. His ERA this year is not good (5.12), but his other numbers are not. are bad. For example, his 4.03 FIP, 9.3 K / 9 and 3.48 K / BB numbers are better than the ones he posted for the Rangers in 2019, when he had a 3.59 ERA and made the American League All-Star team.


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