The first major domino of the starting pitching market fell last week, as the Padres traded Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza.
The Red Sox have been looking for starting pitching, being linked to a bevy of names before acquiring Pomeranz for Espinoza in the one-for-one deal. As was mentioned by our Chris Cotillo in the story about the trade, Espinoza is considered one of the best prospects in the game despite his struggles this season.
Which then turns the tides of the market. Pomeranz, 27, was mostly used as a reliever with the Athletics before being traded to the Padres and winning a spot in the rotation. At the end of the first half, Pomeranz recorded a 2.47 ERA, 10.1 SO9, and 3.6 BB9, which is not too shabby. This, straight up for the 4th best Red Sox prospect and 34th best in the league, shows how far a one-for-one deal can get you.
That’s not to say teams will follow suit, but if they do, expect mid- to top-level prospects to be traded, depending on which tier of starting pitcher they decide to go for.
The following starting pitchers are among the options for teams looking for rotation help in the wake of the Pomeranz deal:
- Rich Hill (Oakland Athletics)
- Sonny Gray (Oakland Athletics)
- Jon Niese (Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Chris Archer (Tampa Bay Rays)
- Ervin Santana (Minnesota Twins)
- Jake Odorizzi (Tampa Bay Rays)
- Jeremy Hellickson (Philadelphia Phillies)
- Julio Teheran (Atlanta Braves)
- Jeff Locke (Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Ricky Nolasco (Minnesota Twins)
It’s unlikely Teherán gets dealt, especially with Braves GM John Coppolella saying that he will not get dealt. That won’t stop teams from inquiring, of course. And while there are inquiries on Sonny Gray, there’s no telling what the A’s would ask for in return. Chris Archer is unlikely to be dealt, as well.
The following are the teams that are reportedly looking for starting pitching:
- Kansas City Royals
- Detroit Tigers
- Texas Rangers
- San Francisco Giants
- Baltimore Orioles
- Miami Marlins
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- St. Louis Cardinals
On this list, you have the obvious suspects. The Royals have a collective 4.99 ERA for their rotation and want to keep the crown, so they’re going to do their best to acquire some dang good pitching. The Rangers want to go after the crown and avenge World Series past, but also all depends on whether or not Yu Darvish can stay healthy.
The Orioles want to stay at the top of the AL East and maybe even take a shot at the pennant, but with a collective 5.15 rotation ERA, there’s a lot to be desired. The Marlins are six games back of the NL East, but they’re in the running for the Wild Card, and they would certainly like to make the postseason, if only so that we get the monstrosity that is the home run sculpture being set off by Giancarlo Stanton dingers in the postseason.
The Dodgers are 6.5 games back in the NL West but, barring a collapse or even a regression to the mean, can easily make a run for the title. They just need to bolster the rotation to do it, in addition to making a couple other moves. The Cardinals have a fairly decent rotation, but they’re obviously going to want to continue being in the postseason.
Meanwhile, there’s the Giants and the rotation looks solid with the mix of Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija, but then you’ve got the back end of the rotation with Jake Peavy and an injured Matt Cain. Surely, to make it four championships in seven years, they’re going to have to make a move, though the bullpen remains their pressing issue.