1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Wednesday “THE PRICE OF PITCHING”

Posted by on November 29th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 



The price for pitching goes up year by year in baseball.
And this year’s free agent list means mega pay days for the few top free agents.

But the price tag on all these mid-level free agents have rocketed too.

SHOHEI OHTANI  will command 40M a year to be someone’s DH going forward, with possibly opt out clauses that allow for a salary upgrade when he is cleared to pitch in 2025.  Dodgers-Giants-Yankees-Mets bids are in.


BLAKE SNELL  brings 2-Cy Young Awards on his resume but also pages and pages of erratic seasons too.  The wildcard there is you have to deal with agent Scott Boras.  Everyone needs a starter like this, but if the agent wants (7Y-200M) are you going to commit to that term and those dollars, knowing the propensity of pitchers breaking down? The Padres-Mets-Dodgers are all interested but not on a seven year deal.  Hometown Seattle might be part of the talks too.  This will be interesting to see who blinks first.  Boras or the ballclubs he is dealing with.

TREVOR BAUER is a proven commodity on the mound and a proven jerk, who keeps making bad choices off the field.  He put together a dominant All Star season in Japan and wants to come back.  He got alot of money not to pitch for the Dodgers after his MLB discipline.  Any team that signs him will face lashback, but who cares, if he goes to the front of the rotation and pitches well?  The Angels are desperate for quality arms.  Baltimore needs a veteran ace.  Boston needs pitching.  So does the Mets.  What do they say to their fans about this guy’s personal decisions?

BRANDON WOODRUFF was a workhorse in Milwaukee, was non-tendered, and will miss much of 2024 coming off shoulder capsule surgery.  But you sign him, rehab him in the next year, and hopefully get an ace at an affordable price.  You can see him as a Dodger-Giant-or Cubs for a 2025 starter.

YOSH YOMAMOTO comes off a spectacular 5-year run with the Orix Buffaloes, is 25-years of age, and will likely get a 5-year deal with the chance to go back into free agency again at age 30.  So many good pitchers have come from Japan, there is no longer doubt about their talent to make the transition.  See the career stats of Darvish-Matsuzaka-Nomo-Maeda-Ryu and so many more.  The bidding likely starts at (5Y-75M) for a guy who had a career (1.50-ERA) across the pond.  Bidding will be hot, with the Mets-Yankees, even possibly the Dodgers, definitely the Giants, who have money and want to spend it.

JARED MONTGOMERY reinvented himself.  End result, a World Series ring in Texas.  They want him back, alot of others want him too.  The question is whether he is willing to go somewhere different and be part of a team building towards something special, like Baltimore.  The Red Sox, Toronto and Detroit come to mind, and that price is likely 20M per year..

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ has had a strange journey, from Fenway Park to Comerica Park.  He’s the one who blocked a trade to Dodgers Stadium at the deadline.  Front of the rotation guy, but not a 20-game winner.  Might he stay close to home and pitch in Miami?  Would they overspend to bring him home?  Stay tuned.

JOSH HADER…Proven commodity but not at a record price in the history of guys who save games.  Maybe a 15M a year guy with the understanding you have to handle him properly so he does not get hurt.  Yankees and Houston come to mind more than anywhere else.

There are a ton of mid-rotation guys but are any of them worth 10-to-15M a year, which is what they all wanted before becoming free agents.

You take a gamble on Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, Nick Martinez, Lucas Gialotio, Marcus Stroman, Mike Clevinger, Sean Manaea, James Paxton, plus bullpen guys Jordan Hicks and Aroldis Chapman.

Lots of names out there, some known, some gambles, some injured,
but all with one known factor, it will cost alot to get any of them.



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