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Top 30 Free Agent Starting Pitchers
By mvyb, 30.10.2006, 13:42

The Yankee front office needs to bring in two, or maybe even three, new starting pitchers this off-season. Chien-Ming Wang will make a decent #3 starter next year, and Randy Johnson will be New York's #5 starter. But with the death of Cory Lidle, the free agency of Mike Mussina, and the disappointment that is Jaret Wright- the Yankees have some work to do.
.
1. Daisuke Matsuzaka
 
Current Team: Seibu Lions (Japan)
2006 Numbers: 17-5, 2.13 ERA, 186.2 IP, 200 K
 
Scouting Report:  Matsuzaka has a nice fastball ( 90-96 mph) with good late movement, along with a decent splitter, changeup, and slider. His ERA has been under 3.00 for four consecutive years.
 
2. Barry Zito
 
Current Team: Oakland Athletics
2006 Numbers: 16-10, 3.83 ERA, 221 IP, 151 K
 
Scouting Report: Former Cy Young award winner, Barry Zito, has handled the tough American league lineups very well over his 6-year career. He's the best left-handed pitcher available from the free agent market.
 
3. Jason Schmidt
 
Current Team: San Francisco Giants
2006 Numbers: 11-9, 3.59 ERA, 213 IP, 180 K
 
Scouting Report: Jason Schmidt has one of the best changeups in the majors, along with a nasty slider and a decent fastball. On June 6, 2006 Schmidt struck out 16 batters in a game, setting a new San Francisco Giants record.
 
4. Mike Mussina
 
Current Team: New York Yankees
2006 Numbers: 15-7, 3.51 ERA, 197 IP, 172 K
 
Scouting Report: Mike Mussina's excellent command and ability to hit the corners of the strike zone, make him a dangerous starting pitcher in either league.
 
5. Mark Mulder
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 6-7, 7.14 ERA, 93 IP, 50 K
 
Scouting Report: Mark Mulder missed most of the 2006 season due to a left shoulder injury. But when he's healthy, he comes after hitters with a variety of weapons ( 93 mph fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup).
 
6. Jason Marquis
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 14-16, 6.02 ERA, 194 IP, 96 K
 
Scouting Report: Jason Marquis has the ability to be a great starting pitcher, but needs to start taking advice from his pitching coach. Marquis is very stubborn, which as a result, makes him an inconsistent pitcher.
 
7. Kerry Wood
 
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
2006 Numbers: 1-2, 4.12 ERA, 19.2 IP, 13K
 
Scouting Report: Wood was plagued with injuries during the '06 season, therefore limiting his playing time to only 4 games. Wood's best pitches are his fastball and curveball.
 
8. Adam Eaton
 
Current Team: Texas Rangers
2006 Numbers: 7-4, 5.12 ERA, 65 IP, 43 K
 
Scouting Report: Eaton is a well-armed pitcher. He has a good fastball ( 92-97 mph), a slow breaking curve, and a decent changeup and slider. He got hit hard during the '06 season by throwing too many fastballs over the heart of the plate.
 
9. Greg Maddux
 
Current Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
2006 Numbers: 15-14, 4.20 ERA, 210 IP, 117 K
 
Scouting Report: Greg Maddux is a sure Hall of Famer with 333 career wins and 3,169 strikeouts. He's not an over-powering pitcher, but he does have excellent control and effective offspeed pitches.
 
10. Roger Clemens
 
Current Team: Houston Astros
2006 Numbers:  7-6, 2.30 ERA, 113 IP, 102 K
 
Scouting Report: Clemens is another sure Hall of Famer, but he's leaning towards retirement.
 
11. Gil Meche
 
Current Team: Seattle Mariners
2006 Numbers: 11-8, 4.48 ERA, 186.2 IP, 156 K
 
Scouting Report: Gil Meche uses both a two- and a four-seamed fastball, accompanied by a slider, curveball, and a changeup. Meche has improved drastically, since his terrible '04 season.
 
12. Tomo Ohka
 
Current Team: Milwaukee Brewers
2006 Numbers: 4-5, 4.82 ERA, 97 IP, 50 K
 
Scouting Report: Ohka's pitches are nothing spectacular, but he does mix them very well.
 
13. Jeff Weaver
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 8-14, 5.76 ERA, 172 IP, 107 K
 
Scouting Report: Weaver had a rough season, but really came around when it counted. He carried a 2.43 ERA over 5 starts in the postseason, including the final game of the World Series.
 
14. Randy Wolf
 
Current Team: Philadelphia Phillies
2006 Numbers: 4-0, 5.56 ERA, 56.2 IP, 44K
 
Scouting Report: Wolf has a fastball, curve, changeup, and slider, making him a valuable back-end-of-the-rotation starter.
 
15. Brian Moehler
 
Current Team: Florida Marlins
2006 Numbers: 7-11, 6.57 ERA, 122 IP, 58 K
 
Scouting Report: Moehler is coming off a rather unsuccessful year. Should be a cheap pick-up.
 
16. Orlando Hernandez
 
Current Team: New York Mets
2006 Numbers: 11-11, 4.66 ERA, 162 IP, 164 K
 
Scouting Report: Hernandez has an arsenal of pitches and an unusual delivery that keeps batters off balance. If healthy, he could be a very valuable pitcher for a contending ballclub.
 
17. Steve Trachsel
 
Current Team: New York Mets
2006 Numbers: 15-8, 4.97 ERA, 164 IP, 79 K
 
Scouting Report: Trachsel doesn't really have a put-away pitch ( only 79 Ks in 164 innings pitched), which means he does allow a few runs every ballgame. But he doesn't waste pitches and always goes deep into the game.
 
18. Tom Glavine
 
Current Team: New York Mets
2006 Numbers: 15-7, 3.82 ERA, 198 IP, 131 K
 
Scouting Report: Glavine will most likely re-sign with the Mets as their ace.
 
19. John Thompson
 
Current Team: Atlanta Braves
2006 Numbers: 2-7, 4.82 ERA, 80 IP, 46 K
 
Scouting Report: Thompson has a good fastball which he uses to jam hitters. His sinker, down-and-away, may be his most effective pitch.
 
20. Woody Williams
 
Current Team: San Diego Padres
2006 Numbers: 12-5, 3.65 ERA, 145 IP, 72 K
 
Scouting Report: Williams has an outstanding command of his pitches- fastball, cutter, and a straight-change. One thing to note- Williams only pitched into the seventh inning twice this season.
 
21. Jeff Suppan
 
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
2006 Numbers: 12-7, 4.12 ERA, 190 IP, 104 K
 
Scouting Report: Suppan's stock flew up during October, as he pitched brilliantly throughout the postseason. The NLCS MVP should pick up a hefty deal during the off season.
 
22. David Wells
 
Current Team: San Diego Padres
2006 Numbers: 3-5, 4.42 ERA, 75 IP, 38 K
 
Scouting Report: "Boomer" will be a well sought after pitcher throughout the winter. His experience and success in both leagues will make him a very valuable starter in 2007.
 
23. Andy Pettite
 
Current Team: Houston Astros
2006 Numbers: 14-13, 4.20 ERA, 214 IP, 178 K
 
Scouting Report: Andy Pettite had good success with the Yankees, and I'd love to see him back with the organization. The only thing that worries me is his home run total. Twenty-seven homers allowed in 35 games started- and that's just in the National League.
 
24. Mark Redman
 
Current Team: Kansas City Royals
2006 Numbers: 11-10, 5.71 ERA, 167 IP, 76 K
 
Scouting Report: His mid-80s fastball is very vulnerable in the tough American League.
 
25. Vicente Padilla
 
Current Team: Texas Rangers
2006 Numbers: 15-10, 4.50 ERA, 200 IP, 156 K
 
Scouting Report: Vicente Padilla tosses a 96 mph fastball, a sharp breaking ball, a slider, and a changeup. But he is not the All-Star pitcher he was in 2002.
 
26. Ted Lily
 
Current Team: Toronto Blue Jays
2006 Numbers: 15-13, 4.31 ERA, 181 IP, 160 K
 
Scouting Report: Lily doesn't have a great history with the Yankee organization or its players ( especially Posada), so I doubt he'll be returning to New York.
 
27. Ramon Ortiz
 
Current Team: Washington Nationals
2006 Numbers: 11-16, 5.57 ERA, 190 IP, 104 K
 
Scouting Report: Ortiz has acceptable stuff, but fails to throw good pitches consistently. ( But on September 4th, Ortiz took a no-hitter into the ninth against the World Series champion Cardinals. )
.
28. Mark Buerhle
.
Current Team: Chicago White Sox
2006 Numbers: 12-13, 4.99 ERA, 204 IP, 98 K
.
Scouting Report: Buerhle works fast and throws strikes, setting up with a fastball and finishing with something off-speed.
.
29. Tony Armas Jr.
.
Current Team: Washington Nationals
2006 Numbers: 9-12, 5.03 ERA, 154 IP, 97 K
.
Scouting Report: Armas usually keeps his team in the game, even when he doesn't have his best stuff. Armas throws a good fastball, slider, and changeup.
.
30. Miguel Batista
.
Current Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
2006 Numbers: 11-8, 4.58 ERA, 206 IP, 110 K
.
Scouting Report: Batista throws a good 4-seam fastball ( up to 95 mph) along with a cutter and a sinker.
.
So, who would you like to see in the Yankee rotation come April? Who do you definitely not want to see alongside of Wang and Johnson when the season begins?

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