Top Remaining Free Agent Starting Pitchers

With the Yankees signing Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka to a 7 year $155 million contract, the top free agent starting pitcher is now off of the market. Because Tanaka was considered to have the highest upside, the entire free agent starting pitcher class was left in a holding pattern waiting for him to sign. But with Tanaka off the board, the remainder of the free agent starting class will likely begin signing fairly quickly, as exhibited by Matt Garza’s 4 year $52 million deal with the Brewers.  Although A.J. Burnett certainly belongs on this list from a performance standpoint, almost all league insiders expect him to either retire or re-sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates, meaning he isn’t a free agent in the truest sense of the term like those below and thus will not be evaluated.

Note: All career WAR numbers are per 180 IP.

Ervin Santana

Stats
K/9
BB/9
BABIP
LOB%
FIP
ERA
WAR
20136.872.18.26776.9%3.933.243.0
Career7.092.81.28272.6%4.364.192.0
Projections
K/9
BB/9
BABIP
LOB%
FIP
ERA
WAR
Steamer7.172.59.29370.0%3.713.952.6
Oliver6.672.56.27075.6%4.663.940.6

The Royals acquired Ervin Santana in a trade with the Angels last offseason in the last year of his contract, and he went on to have one of the finest seasons of his career. After giving up a career high 39 home runs in 2012, he improved that 50% by allowing a still high 26 dingers last season.

But much of this difference can be attributed to both luck and playing in a more favorable pitching environment. After seeing 18.2% of his flyballs fly over the fence, just 12.9% of his flyballs went for home runs in 2013-much more in line with his career average of 11%. Kaufman Stadium is also one of the least homer prone parks in the majors.

Santana is probably the safest of all three options as he has had just one poor season in recent memory, of which much of it can be attributed to the aforementioned poor luck in home run to flyball percentage.

Santana has a similar basic profile to Matt Garza without some of the injury concerns: a solid 2nd or 3rd starter who can stabilize almost any rotation. A return to either of his previous two stops, Anaheim or Kansas City, could make sense in addition to others who are a pitcher away from playoff contention.

Ublado Jimenez

Stats
K/9
BB/9
BABIP
LOB%
FIP
ERA
WAR
20139.563.94.30476.5%3.433.303.2
Career8.273.80.29271.4%3.783.923.3
Projections
K/9
BB/9
BABIP
LOB%
FIP
ERA
WAR
Steamer8.463.77.29070.8%3.794.022.5
Oliver8.373.99.31270.8%4.044.431.8

After giving up a career high 39 home runs in 2012, he improved that 50% by allowing a still high 26 dingers last season.

But much of this difference can be attributed to both luck and pitching in a more favorable pitching environment. After seeing 18.2% of his flyballs fly over the fence in 2012, just 12.9% of his flyballs went for home runs in 2013-much more in line with his career average of 11%. Kaufman Stadium is also one of the least homer prone parks in the majors.

Santana is probably the safest of all three options as he has had just one poor season in recent memory, of which much of it can be attributed to the aforementioned poor luck in home run to flyball percentage.

Santana has a similar basic profile to Matt Garza without some of the injury concerns: a solid 2nd or 3rd starter who can stabilize almost any rotation. A return to either of his previous two stops, Anaheim or Kansas City, could make sense in addition to others who are a pitcher away from playoff contention.

Bronson Arroyo

Stats
K/9
BB/9
BABIP
LOB%
FIP
ERA
WAR
20135.521.51.26777.9%4.493.790.8
Career5.842.46.28172.3%4.544.191.8
Projections
K/9
BB/9
BABIP
LOB%
FIP
ERA
WAR
Steamer5.331.91.29268.2%4.254.491.2
Oliver5.121.68.28274.2%4.614.020.8

After giving up a career high 39 home runs in 2012, he improved that 50% by allowing a still high 26 dingers last season.

But much of this difference can be attributed to luck and the ballpark. After seeing 18.2% of his flyballs fly over the fence, just 12.9% of his flyballs went for home runs in 2013-much more in line with his career average of 11%. Kaufman Stadium is also one of the least homer prone parks in the majors.

Santana is probably the safest of all three options as he has had just one poor season in recent memory, of which much of it can be attributed to the aforementioned poor luck in home run to flyball percentage.

Santana has a similar basic profile to Matt Garza without some of the injury concerns: a solid 2nd or 3rd starter who can stabilize almost any rotation. A return to either of his previous two stops, Anaheim or Kansas City, could make sense in addition to others who are a pitcher away from playoff contention.

 
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