Sunday, November 9, 2008

One More Time...Free Agents: Starters

help Pictures, Images and Photos

One more post dealing with last year's VORP stats and I'm done. I promise. There's more talk about adding starting pitching via free agency going around now. And as many fingers that were pointed at the bullpen, Sheffield, Leyland, Renteria...basically at anyone not named "Cabrera" or "Maggs", perhaps the starting pitching wasn't blamed enough. Sure, Willis and my buddy Nate took a lot of heat, too, but look at all the Tigers' starters VORP ratings. Remember, Cliff Lee led the league at 75.0, followed by Johan Santana at 73.4, and Tim Lincecum at 72.5. Here we go.

Armando Galarraga: 31.2
Zach Miner: 15.4
Justin Verlander: 8.9
Jeremy Bonderman: 6.5
Freddy Garcia: 1.8
Eddie Bonine: -2.4
Chris Lambert: -5.0
Kenny Rogers: -7.0
Dontrelle Willis: -9.8
Nate Robertson: -16.8

That's pathetic. And as bad as Dontrelle looked...Nate was almost twice as horrible. With the exception of Armando, no one was really worthy of a major league uniform in our rotation last year. So...who's out there? To save time, I'll list every free agent SP that was at least better than Verlander was last year with their 2008 VORP (value over replacement player).

Ryan Dempster: 57.5
Ben Sheets: 52.4
CC Sabathia: 52.2 (Mil), 24.0 (Cle)
Derek Lowe: 49.7
Mike Mussina: 43.1
Jamie Moyer: 40.3
AJ Burnett: 35.1
Braden Looper: 25.7
Oliver Perez: 21.0
Andy Pettitte: 17.7
Randy Wolf: 14.1
Odalis Perez: 12.0
John Smoltz: 9.6

There you go. Not making the list was the much rumored Jon Garland who only came in at 7.6. So, what happens here? You know Verlander and Galaragga are one and two. Bondo's three if he's healthy. Zach is iffy...plus he looks like the elf from "Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer".
hermie elf Pictures, Images and PhotosZACH MINER Pictures, Images and Photos

Sorry...not a good picture of Zach. Back to the point. They're looking to fill two spots with Miner, Willis, and Nate probably being the top in-house candidates. Remember, Willis and Nate are owed a bunch of cash. So, that's not going to leave DD much money to deal with...especially with all the questions at shortstop, catcher, and reliever(s). Notice, there's a big dropoff in production after Burnett on that list. And unless Derek Lowe gives us one hell of a hometown discount, there's not anyone there that we can afford that would make an impact.

Sure would be nice to have Jair Jurrjens back around now, wouldn't it?

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