Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


The Post-Tanakalyptic Wasteland: SP Free Agents That Remain (Part II)

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


In Part 1 of the Post-Tanakalyptic Wasteland, I examined the top three position players remaining in the MLB free agent pool. Here are the top three remaining pitchers—who needs them, who wants them, and where they might end up.


Top Remaining MLB Free Agents - Pitchers

1. Ervin Santana

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Santana had a very nice year with the Royals in 2013, although his 9-10 record may not have shown it—he was a victim of poor run support, as most Kansas City starters are. He finished with an ERA of 3.24, the best of his career, and his second-best WHIP at 1.142. Unfortunately for him, Santana thought he could cash in on his success, seeking a $100 million deal in the early offseason.

Sorry fella, that’s a bit too ambitious. Nobody has bitten, and he is now without a team in late January, which most likely means he’s going to have to settle for a much more modest deal. With Tanaka off the board though, he may yet receive a very nice deal considering the lack of free agent pitching remaining. Santana does come with a compensatory draft pick though, making him even less enticing.

The Rangers lost Derek Holland to a freak injury, and while they still have arms in waiting (most notably Nick Tepesch), it would not surprise me to see them make a run at Santana for a three- or four-year deal.

Toronto is still in dire need of solid pitching. Though they have plenty of arms available (Drew Hutchison, Esmil Rogers, and Todd Redmond) to fill the fifth spot in the rotation after Dickey, Morrow, Buerhle and Happ, I would not consider any of their starters to be an “ace”. Should Santana live up to last year’s performance and receive some run support from the Blue Jay boppers, he could provide stability to a very shaky rotation. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they have two protected first-round picks, meaning at worst they’d only need to give up a second-rounder.

Let’s not count out the Yankees either, as they, along with the Orioles and Twins, recently requested medicals on Santana. I would say it’s pretty clear they’re not concerned about the luxury tax anymore, and their rotation is still shaky despite the addition of Tanaka. Ervin Santana would make a better 4-5 starter than either an inconsistent Ivan Nova or an inexperienced David Phelps, but let’s not forget that he’s a fly ball pitcher, which is a dangerous occupation in Yankee Stadium.


2. Ubaldo Jimenez

Ubaldo is an anomaly. Remember in early 2010, when he won like 75 games in the first half with an ERA of -40 or so? He finished the year at 19-8 with an ERA of 2.88. For those not keeping track, he finished the next two seasons at a combined 19-30 with an ERA just a shade over 5.00. Then he finished out an average 2013 with a ridiculous 4-0 record and 1.09 ERA in the final month of the season. He also has a draft pick attached to him, and given his history, any deal that he could be offered, particularly a long-term one, is quite literally a roll of the dice.

So who’s that desperate? Honestly, very few teams. Earlier this winter Jimenez was looking for $17-$20 million a year, which most certainly is not going to happen now. The Royals made a qualifying offer to Jimenez, and they could certainly use another solid arm in their rotation. They may be unwilling to deal a draft pick away though, and they certainly will not pay what Jimenez is asking.

The Orioles are in desperate need of a starter, as they only have four seasoned starters at the moment. They could be willing to offer Jimenez a smaller deal should he become desperate and lower his price considerably. Kevin Gausman is waiting in the wings, but for the right price they could bite on Jimenez until Gausman solidifies his position as a veritable starter.

The Mariners may very well continue to spend this offseason, and it most certainly could be on starting pitching. After King Felix and Hisashi Iwakuma, there are quite a few question marks in the Mariners rotation. Erasmo Ramirez and Taijuan Walker both should end up in the starting five, but after that you’re looking at Brad Maurer and James Paxton, neither of which are certain to be effective. Jimenez could make a nice addition to back up Hernandez and Iwakuma.


3. Bronson Arroyo

With Matt Garza recently signing with the Brewers and A.J. Burnett uncertain whether he will even come back to pitch in 2014, the only real option remaining is the wily veteran who will turn 37 in February. Arroyo is clearly a fourth or fifth starter regardless of what team he lands on, but he is a consistently solid option for such spots. He has started 32 or more games in each of the last 10 seasons, which shows rare durability for one so seasoned. His ERA will drift between the 3.80-4.50 range, and he’ll most likely still win 10 or 12 games. He will command a low price for a small amount of years, so he will end up somewhere relatively soon.

The Phillies have shows some interest in Arroyo, although whether or not they are willing to pay for him remains to be seen. It would not surprise me to see Ruben Amaro Jr. overpay for Arroyo, as he has shown a penchant for adding aging arms of late. Arroyo doesn’t have a draft pick attached to him, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

The Dodgers, having lost out on Masahiro Tanaka, are still looking for arms. Arroyo is an attractive option due to his durability and consistency (however unimpressive it may be), and he could prove to be a better option than the current members of the back end of the Dodgers rotation (Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley). They’ve got the money to spend, although whether they’re willing to offer the three-year deal that Arroyo is seeking is far from certain.

Agree? Disagree? I wanna know. Tweet me @Roto_Dubs or comment here.

More Recent Articles


ADP Cost Analysis – Robbie Ray vs Trevor Bauer

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – C.J. Cron

As another fantasy baseball season approaches, we once again have the chance to discuss C.J. Cron as a fantasy sleeper. Cron will be playing for his third team in three seasons. It is tough to wrap one's head around the idea that a player of Cron's talent continues to be undervalued by professional and fantasy... Read More

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More

Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More

How to Attack RP in SV+HLD Leagues

No position has seen as much evolution in recent seasons as the relief pitcher. Gone are the days where starters were expected to go seven innings as most teams have embraced the idea of "super-bullpening" and try to fit as many pitchers that can throw 95+ MPH into their bullpen as they can. Many fantasy... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitch Info

One of the most fundamental questions in fantasy sports is if a player's current performance is sustainable. More than any other sport, baseball has a slew of statistical measures that can be dissected in numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly-available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data to... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Mock Draft Review: Best Late-Round Targets

Last week, some members of the RotoBaller staff completed a 12-team mock draft for standard 5x5 format. After the draft, we each broke down our strategy and some of our favorite picks, which can be found here. However, I want to take a closer look at one portion of the draft in particular. Since we know that... Read More

Faster and Furious: Pitchers with Rising Velocity/Performance

Welcome fantasy baseball players! I’m sure that you, like me, are anxiously counting down the days until your drafts and Opening Day. While the fantasy season may not start for several weeks, there are plenty of things we can do to start preparing for a successful season. One of those things is to take a good... Read More

James Karinchak Is A Relief Pitcher To Know in 2020

One of the lesser-known players that intrigues me for the 2020 MLB season is Indians relief pitcher James Karinchak. The former Bryant Bulldog was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in the 2017 draft and went on to have one of the most outrageous statistical seasons in minor league baseball history. As someone who... Read More

2020 Relief Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Often regarded as an inferior fantasy baseball format, points leagues offer a different style of boasting over your friends or coworkers similar to that of fantasy football. These setups are typically head-to-head formats for a one-week stretch where the player with the most points gets a win. Easy right? While it's true that roster construction... Read More

2019 Barrel Breakouts: Who's For Real and Who's Next?

As pitchers and catchers get even closer to reporting and most fantasy leagues prepare for their drafts, everybody is looking for a leg up on the competition - a way to get in on a guy before everybody else does. In this article, we're going to look for a way to identify hitters who improved... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher BABIP

While FIP is a useful tool to predict a pitcher's future ERA performance, fantasy owners should remember that ERA, not FIP, is what really matters in most formats. This means that we are interested in the "luck" that separates the two statistics. While some of this luck is unpredictable, we can and should predict some... Read More

Second Year Player Preview: Fantasy Baseball 2020 ADP Analysis

Host Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller Radio discuss the 2020 fantasy baseball season and keeps you updated with all the latest news and analysis Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, every weekday afternoon from 1-2 PM ET, Saturday nights from 9-11 PM ET... Read More