Free agent pitchers are going to cash in big time this winter in Major League Baseball. Here is where I see the best 39 pitchers available this winter landing:
RIGHTY STARTING PITCHERS:
1. James Shields, Kansas City Royals – The Royals made the easy decision to pick up Shields’ $12 million dollar club option for 2014.
2. Matt Garza, Texas Rangers – The Rangers ante up to keep Garza in the fold.
3. Hiroki Kuroda, Seattle Mariners – The Mariners ante up for Kuroda to be their #3 starter in 2014.
4. A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates – Burnett comes back for one more year.
5. Ervin Santana, Kansas City Royals – The Royals ante up to keep Santana for 2014.
6. Ubaldo Jimenez, New York Yankees – The Yankees take a shot on Jimenez, hoping that he can keep up his dominance that he showed in the second half of 2013 for the Indians.
7. Ricky Nolasco, Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays take a shot on another pitcher who was really solid for the Marlins.
8. Bartolo Colon, Texas Rangers – The Rangers outbid the A’s on a 1-year deal for Colon.
9. Bronson Arroyo, Washington Nationals – The Nationals want a solid innings eater for the back end of the rotation and Arroyo fits the bill.
10. Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees – The Yankees try to stay relevant all over the world by inking Tanaka for the starting rotation.
11. Tim Hudson, Philadelphia Phillies – Tim Hudson gives the Phillies a solid replacement for the suddenly toast Roy Halladay.
12. Dan Haren, Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles are looking for a workhorse type veteran for the starting rotation and they find one in Dan Haren.
13. Josh Johnson, Houston Astros – The Astros sign Johnson to an incentive laden one year deal.
14. Scott Feldman, Colorado Rockies – The Rockies find a nice starter for the back end of the rotation in 2014.
15. Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins – The Twins find a nice starter who is still young and has some upside left.
LEFTY STARTING PITCHERS:
1. Jason Vargas, New York Yankees – The Yankees get an Andy Pettitte clone style wise in Jason Vargas.
2. Scott Kazmir, Cleveland Indians – Kazmir returns to the Indians to reward them for the chance they gave him last year.
3. Joe Saunders, Minnesota Twins – Saunders is at his best pitching in big ballparks like Target Field.
4. Bruce Chen, Kansas City Royals – The Royals reward Chen for pitching well for them last year.
5. Erik Bedard, Atlanta Braves – The Braves look for a veteran for the back end of the rotation. Bedard proved last season that he still has something left in his gas tank.
6. Paul Maholm, Colorado Rockies – The Rockies find a nice veteran for a bargain price.
1. Grant Balfour, New York Yankees – Balfour has the attitude and stuff to replace Mariano Rivera as the Yankees’ closer.
2. Joe Nathan, Detroit Tigers – Joe Nathan opts out of his contract with the Rangers ($9 million bucks) and he signs with the Tigers.
3. Casey Janssen, Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays pick up their club option for 2014, valued at $4 million bucks on Janssen.
4. Fernando Rodney, Oakland A’s – The A’s get a solid closer for less money than Balfour was going to make in 2014.
5. Joaquin Benoit, Cleveland Indians – The Indians get Benoit to replace Chris Perez as their closer.
6. Brian Wilson, Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays find a closer to replace Fernando Rodney.
7. Jose Veras, Detroit Tigers – The Tigers pick up Veras $3.25 million dollar option for 2014 to serve as the set up man.
1. Joe Smith, New York Mets – The Mets bring back Joe Smith.
2. Francisco Rodriguez, Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies bring in K-Rod to set up for Papelbon in 2014.
3. LaTroy Hawkins, Colorado Rockies – The Rockies get themselves a live arm for the back end of the pen.
1. Matt Thornton, New York Yankees – The Yankees get another big time arm to set-up in front of Grant Balfour in 2014.
2. Javier Lopez, Washington Nationals – Lopez would fill a huge need at the back end of the pen for the Nationals in 2014.
3. Scott Downs, Cleveland Indians – The Tribe gets a lefty reliever that they can trust.
4. Mike Gonzalez, Chicago White Sox – The White Sox get a nice lefty for the pen.
5. J.P. Howell, Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers re-sign Howell.
6. Boone Logan, Los Angeles Angels – The Angels get themselves a nice arm for the pen, filling a huge hole.
7. Manny Parra, San Diego Padres – Parra is a perfect fit for the Padres.
8. Oliver Perez, Houston Astros – The Astros sign Perez with the idea of dealing him next July.