The Big Orange Guy’s Top 5 Plan B Pitchers

So, Cliff Lee is now part of the Phab Phor in Philly.  He sent shock waves through the major leagues by signing with his former team.  What happens now is the question for the Yankees, Rangers and anyone else looking for a pitcher not through a trade.  So, I have been looking through the free agent market for starting pitchers.    There may be ways for teams to not spend $120 million for five years and possible get a decent starting pitcher.  Let’s look at The Big Orange Guy’s Top 5 Potential Starting Pitcher Signings…at a bargain.

#1 Chien Ming Wang formerly of the Washington Nationals – He was signed to a $2 million contract in 2009 and never pitched for the Nationals while undergoing rehabilitation for injuries.  He never pitched in 2010.  This is a pitcher who has won 19 games in a season in the past.  If he can recover from his injuries, he can be a pitcher that supports a pitching staff.  He may not return to the form that he once had, but if he does regain his form he can be a pitcher that will do it at a very reduced rate.

#2 Jeff Francis formerly of the Colorado Rockies – Jeff was not tendered a new contract by the Rockies when his contract at the end of the 2010 season.  He had an injury plagued 2008 and 2009.  He had shoulder soreness in 2008 and sat out 2009 after shoulder surgery.  In 2010, he had a 4-6 record for the Rockies in 20 games.   He is a 29 year old lefty.  He is someone that has had successes in the past and was expected to replicate that former success in 2010.  However, with a long season long layoff, that did not happen.  No team will sign his for any long term contract or for large amounts of money.  But, could he regain his past form?

#3 Freddy Garcia formerly of the Chicago White Sox – Garcia, 34 years old was not tendered a new contract by his former team after the 2010 season.  Garcia has a career record of 133-87 with an ERA of 4.13.  He has been a winner in the past and came off of a contract in 2010 in which he earned $1 million.  He wanted to test the free agency market after a 12-6 season in 2010.  He will not command the same kind of money as Lee, but he will not be a huge bargain.  However for most teams, he will be a good starting pitcher who can be a solid Number 3 starter.  However if Garcia comes across a good situation where he can sign a short term contract to prove that he still can be a quality starting pitcher, it can be a win-win contract for he and whatever team signs him.

#4 Justin Duchscherer formerly of the Oakland A’s – Duchscherer missed the 2009 season with injuries and started 5 games for the A’s in 2010 after signing a $2 million contract for the season.  He experienced hip soreness and missed the remainder of the season.  In his one full season as a starter, he was 10-8 with an ERA of 2.54 in 141 innings.  He had an excellent WHIP and was considered an up and coming pitcher.  He will be 34 years old as the next season starts and just like everyone else on this list, he will be a pitcher who will sign a contract for a lesser amount of money to prove that he can still pitch in the major leagues.

#5 – Brandon Webb formerly of the Arizona Diamondbacks – Webb is a former Cy Young winner and finished twice two other times.  He has 87 wins in 199 career starts and has a career ERA of 3.27.  In 2009, he had shoulder surgery that ended his season and did not pitch in 2010.  He had a salary structure that increased from $2.5 million to $8.5 million between 2006 to 2010.  He became a free agent after the season ended.  Rumors are the Cubs are after Webb as well as the Nationals.  However, after the Lee signing there may be other teams involved.

This week’s Top 5 is above.  There are five pitchers above that can be a Plan B for other teams now that Cliff Lee is gone.  So, until we find out who wants to spend what amounts of money and we find out who will sign for less than they want, we wait.  Until next week and we see what happens, see you on the other side.

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