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Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

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Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby BronXBombers51 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:11 pm

So I was just eating dinner and thinking about how the Yankees might improve this offseason. I began to ask myself why there never seems to be any big pitchers on the open market. I came back to the dorm and did a little bit of research on free agent starting pitcher signings since 2003. I only used examples that represented a relatively hefty commitment...using a parameter of at least 3 years for $30 million to qualify. I think I got every signing that qualified for every year dating back to 2003. If I missed one, let me know. Here's what I got:

2008:
Carlos Silva (4/$48)

2007:
Barry Zito (7/$126)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (6/$52)
Gil Meche (5/$55)
Jason Schmidt (3/$47)
Jeff Suppan (4/$42)
Ted Lilly (4/$40)
Vicente Padilla (3/$33.75)

2006:
Kevin Millwood (5/$60)
AJ Burnett (5/$55)
Tim Hudson (4/$47)
Jarrod Washburn (4/$37.5)

2005:
Pedro Martinez (4/$53)
Carl Pavano (4/$39.95)
Derek Lowe (4/$36)

2004:
Bartolo Colon (4/$51)
Andy Pettitte (3/$31.5)

2003:
Tom Glavine (3/$35)


That's it. There's a lot of money and a lot of years tied up right there. And how many of those players actually wound up being worth it? Not many, if any. Obviously the jury is still out on some of the more recent ones, but we can already tell that even some of those are awful (Zito, Schmidt, etc.) So really, is committing yourself to a free agent SP worth it at all? These results say no.

It seems that the pitchers really worth having aren't even allowed to hit free agency until they are past their prime. Over the years, guys like Halladay, Santana, Oswalt, Beckett, Peavy, Zambrano, etc. are all signed to extensions before they hit the open market. Their respective teams know better than to let them get away.

With these types of results, perhaps the best strategy is to not commit heavily to any free agent SPs, but rather focus your energy on trying to develop your own. That seems to be the only way to acquire an ace in today's game. And how does this bode for this year's free agent class? Are they the exception? Or is Sabathia the next Colon? Burnett the next Pavano? Sheets the next Pedro?

Thoughts?
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby SpecialFNK » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:33 pm

there was an article i think in Sports Illustrated maybe 1-2 years ago about this. how you dont find ace pitchers in free agency.
Sabathia might be an exception, but hes coming with a risk after pitching so often this season.
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby mweir145 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:23 pm

As much as I want the Jays to keep Burnett, I can't help but think he'll be a massive bust with his injury history. Not up to the standards of that horrible Pavano contract, but it has the potential to get pretty bad.

The best thing to do is definitely develop your own pitching. Look at the Jays...they had the best pitchng in baseball thanks to guys like McGowan, Litsch, and Marcum (and of course, Halladay.) You just have to hope those young guys don't get hurt... :,-(
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby KCollins1304 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:27 pm

I think it's become obvious to teams like the Yankees(not to imply other teams haven't, I just know the most about the Yankees) over the last 3 or 4 years that developing your own aces is the best way to go (Joba, Hughes). You get the best years out of the arm and the cheapest years. All that said, the Yankees have to sign Sabathia. He's the best arm to hit FA probably since the D-backs signed Randy Johnson in 1999, who ironically mirrors the CC situation. The Mariners couldn't sign Johnson, sent him to Houston for a half season, and then he hit FA. He might be all used up and ready for an injury, but I don't think the Yankees can risk not signing him.
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby GiantsFan14 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:31 pm

i was under the impression that sabathia really didn't want to play for the yankees, will they really offer him enough money to change that?

CC Sabathia is the free agent the Yankees most covet, though there's a divergence of opinion whether he'd give up his two biggest dreams of playing in his home state of California (one Yankees person expressed some doubt whether he'll come, saying it would take "crazy'' money) and playing in the National League. However, money often talks in wintertime, giving the Yankees hope they can beat out the Angels and other preferred locales.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/09/22/heyman.stadium/index.html
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby mweir145 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:33 pm

The Yankees play by different rules than the rest of the league with their payroll. They don't need young pitching to succeed (though it obviously helps greatly). It's a main reason why I thought they should have gotten Santana last year, and why I think they should get CC this year.
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby KCollins1304 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:36 pm

mweir145 wrote:The Yankees play by different rules than the rest of the league with their payroll. They don't need young pitching to succeed (though it obviously helps greatly). It's a main reason why I thought they should have gotten Santana last year, and why I think they should get CC this year.


They knew CC would be available this offseason, that was a major factor in not trading for Santana.
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby KCollins1304 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:37 pm

GiantsFan14 wrote:i was under the impression that sabathia really didn't want to play for the yankees, will they really offer him enough money to change that?

CC Sabathia is the free agent the Yankees most covet, though there's a divergence of opinion whether he'd give up his two biggest dreams of playing in his home state of California (one Yankees person expressed some doubt whether he'll come, saying it would take "crazy'' money) and playing in the National League. However, money often talks in wintertime, giving the Yankees hope they can beat out the Angels and other preferred locales.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/09/22/heyman.stadium/index.html


I think there is an amount that could get him to play tittly winks in Sri Lanka.
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby BritSox » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:59 pm

Meh. Teix fits a clear need, and makes the team better.

Going after FA pitchers is the same failed strat that lead to them being where they are.

HOWEVER there are a few decent, league-average kinda guys available, who aren't type As (the redefinition of what is a type A or B has really been a good thing, imho) or Washburn, who is probably available for a bag of balls, who if they could be had for short years (never mind the dollars, it's the Yankees) would represent a big improvement over some of the dreck they were forced to throw out there.

Add Teixeira, with a rotation of Wang-Moose or Pettitte (re-sign one but not both)- Middling FA-Hughes (who still has the potential to be awesome)-the winner of a competition between everyone else in the system, supplement with Mo-Joba-Sanchez bullpen, and they will win 90-95 games and have a decent chance to make the postseason.
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Re: Free Agent Pitchers: Think Again

Postby Neato Torpedo » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:16 pm

BritSox wrote:Meh. Teix fits a clear need, and makes the team better.

Going after FA pitchers is the same failed strat that lead to them being where they are.

HOWEVER there are a few decent, league-average kinda guys available, who aren't type As (the redefinition of what is a type A or B has really been a good thing, imho) or Washburn, who is probably available for a bag of balls, who if they could be had for short years (never mind the dollars, it's the Yankees) would represent a big improvement over some of the dreck they were forced to throw out there.

Add Teixeira, with a rotation of Wang-Moose or Pettitte (re-sign one but not both)- Middling FA-Hughes (who still has the potential to be awesome)-the winner of a competition between everyone else in the system, supplement with Mo-Joba-Sanchez bullpen, and they will win 90-95 games and have a decent chance to make the postseason.


I only wish you said Moose-Wang instead of Wang-Moose. O:-)

And are you implying that the Yanks keep Joba in the pen?
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