More Free Agent Pitcher Badness

Dave · September 13, 2007 at 9:45 am · Filed Under Mariners 

At some point soon, as hot stove league talk heats up, you’re going to hear one recurring suggestion from the mainstream media – the Mariners need to acquire a frontline starting pitcher. Generally, they’ll add in even more fun extras such as “no matter what the cost”. The idea is, basically, that if the Mariners are serious about contending, they’ll spend the necessary money to sign a big name free agent pitcher. This is an annual suggestion – we’ve been told that this is the solution to the Mariners problems for years. Considering how poorly the rotation pitched this year, it’s inevitable that the same Sign Big Name Free Agent Pitcher calls will be even louder than normal.

I wonder, though, if they ever consider just how bad a strategy that really is? I’ve written about this issue several times before, but the general consensus remains the same – bring us a big name free agent pitcher.

Well, now that the 2007 season is basically over, we can look back and see just how good of an idea that would have been last winter. There were seven pitchers who signed multiyear contracts in excess of $10 million a year in annual salary – basically, these are the guys who would qualify as the types of pitchers that people want the Mariners to pursue every winter. Should the Mariners have been more aggressive in going after a “top tier” free agent starter last offseason?

Player	Tm	W	L	ERA	IP	Hit	K	BB	HR
Lilly	CHN	15	7	3.85	187	164	156	51	26
Meche	KC	7	12	3.82	188.3	195	132	56	21
Zito	SF	9	12	4.46	173.7	156	121	73	21
Padilla	TEX	6	9	5.70	115.3	142	69	45	15
Schmidt	LAN	1	4	6.31	25.7	32	22	14	4
Mussina	NYA	8	10	5.51	127.3	162	77	29	14
Suppan	MIL	9	11	4.74	180.3	212	97	58	16

Average		9	10	4.63	163	170	110	52	19

Those seven big name, big dollar, long term contract guys have given their teams, on average, 163 innings with a 4.63 ERA. Average Annual Salary? $12 million per year.

With Carlos Zambrano and Mark Buehrle off the market, this year’s free agent pitching class is going to be even less exciting than last years. When Livan Hernandez, Jason Jennings, Kenny Rogers, and Freddy Garcia are the best guys available, it’s time to shop elsewhere.

The Mariners rotation needs help, but it won’t be found in free agency.


102 Responses to “More Free Agent Pitcher Badness”

  1. terry on September 14th, 2007 4:30 pm

    I doubt the Ms could break into the Japanese market for players.

  2. bookbook on September 15th, 2007 6:38 am

    The O’s aren’t going to trade Bedard.

    Realistic trade options are more of the Scott Baker ilk. Potential #3’s are out there and can probably be pried away for talent (Clement+ or something).

    Potential Cy Young award winners – no one’s going to trade them for anything the M’s would/should pay.

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