Free Agent Pitcher Options

With seemingly all of our pitchers on the DL, here are the options still available on the free agent list in no particular order...

Odalis Perez- A career 95 ERA+ pitcher, with a 101 ERA+ last year in 160 innings for the Nationals. Hes not a frontline starter, but he could be a decent 4th or 5th starter. Also, he is very cheap (possibly 1 M for one year or possibly less).

Mark Mulder- Hasn't pitched 100 innings in a season for a few years, and hasn't been very good lately. Pass

Ryan Drese- One good year for Texas, but hasnt pitched since 2006, and hasn't been very good when he has been able to make it to the mound.

Pedro Martinez- If he is finally healthy, he could be very good, but durability is an issue as well as performance (excluding WBC) as his last good season was in 2005. Definitely an option though, and he would likely be up to speed quickly due to the WBC.

Orlando Hernandez- Didn't pitch last year, but in 2007 had a 115 ERA+ in 147 innings. His age however, could mean he doesn't see the field much. Possibly worth a look into, but unlikely.

Mark Redman- Last time he had an ERA+ of 90 was 2004. Ouch, and pass.

Jon Lieber- Was used last year as a reliever by the Cubs, but he did put up an ERA+ of 110. His last season of 160+ innings was 2006, but since 1996, his career low ERA+ is 96. While his FIP last year suggests regression, he is still definitely worth looking into.

Brian Lawerence- Was once promising, but has only pitched one year in the Majors sine 2005. Hes durable, but he isn't very good (5.55 ERA in 80+ innings for the Braves AAA affiliate in 08).

Kenny Rogers- Very interesting here. From 2002-2007 his lowest ERA+ was 99, but last year that number dipped to 78. One one hand he could be the veteran pitcher who has a breakout year to lead the staff (ala Tigers circa 2006), while on the other hand he could continue on last years suckfest and and drag the whole team down with his personality. Possibly worth a shot, if the money is right.

Chuck James- While he had a bad year for the Braves in 2008, this 27 year old lefty might still be worth a shot. In 2007 James pitched 160 innings of 100 ERA+ baseball, and in 06 120 innings of 118 ERA+. While his FIPs are very high, and his low ERA (and high ERA+) seem to be due to his abnormally low BABIP, among his top 10 comparable on include Edinson Volquez, Sean Marshall, Jon Danks and Rich Hill. Very well could be worth a minor league deal and see if he produces after a change in scenery.

Scott Elarton- Hasn't been good since 2000. Pass.

Estaban Loaiza- Loaiza's last good season was in 2005 with the Nats. Has pitched a grand total of 64 innings the last two years combined, where he wasn't very good for many of them. Pass.

Steve Traschel- A Oxnard native and CSULB alum, pitched 40 horrific innings for Baltimore last year. He has never really been great, but has a handful of good years, along with many serviceable ones (2004, '06, and '07 most recently). He is worth a look into, although a minor league deal at best.

And Finally, to the Byrd Man

Paul Byrd- His number one comparable on bb-r is Jon Garland. Byrd will have an ERA+ between 93-103 next year and will pitch over 160 innings. He also possesses a great personality and is a fan favorite. If he doesn't retire, the Angels should definitely approach him.

To sum up: The noteworthy starters that are still free agents are: Odalis Perez, Pedro, Jon Lieber, Kenny Rogers, Chuck James, Traschel and Byrd.

Kenny Rogers, Pedro and Byrd seem to be the most expensive, while we could get Lieber, James, and or Traschel for minor league deals. Odalis Perez could also come cheap, but most likely will need a major league deal. The pen's in your court Ninja, do as you will.

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