The Met offense went wild (pitch) today scoring 5 runs in the 1st inning and 7 overall on 11 hits.Â Now it was against the Washington Nationals, whose entire starting rotation is under 26 years of age and is comprised of 4 rookies and 1 second year player, and that same Nationals staff held the Mets to 4 total runs and 12 total hits in the previous 2 games, but…let’s pretend for the sake of discussion that the Met offense has, like Stella, got it’s groove back.
Add to that scenario the rotation after Johan Santana:Â it is comprised of the lesser known dwarves Iffy, Maybe, Fogey and Redding.Â Iffy is Mike Pelfrey who if he evolves as we hope may well be that coveted #2 starter to follow Johan, but he’s not there yet.Â Maybe is John Maine who may be nursing a shoulder injury.Â Fogey is Livan Hernandez who has his moments, like today, but is an old 34 and gives up base hits like he just don’t care.Â Redding is, well, Redding.Â
So below is a list of some starting pitchers with big contracts on teams that are down in the standings.Â I don’t pretend to know that their teams might trade them, I just know that the teams are in the bottom half of their division standings and these guys take up a lot of their team’s budgets.
Scott Kazmir:Â 10:$8M, 11:$12M, 12:$13.5M club option ($2.5M buyout) Now before you slap me, the Rays are currently in 4th place and last year is looking more like a fairytale and less like the beginning of a dynasty.Â They reportedly have a number of high ceiling pitching prospects knocking on the door.Â Kazmir is currently on the DL, a place he’s been before, so for the moment he’s staying put.Â But when he’s ready to return, they will have options, and his is the highest salary of the Rays starting staff by a significant margin.
Mark Buehrle:Â 10:$14M, 11:$14M I imagine the White Sox would hold on to Buehrle even if they fall out of it, and build around him, but he is their highest salaried starter so I mention him here.
Gil Meche:Â 10:$12M, 11:$12M Meche is the Royals #1 starter in name only, their real #1 has finally emerged as they hoped in Zack Greinke.Â Meche makes a lot of money in Kansas City dollars, and Greinke makes even more, so Meche could be used to fill some holes if the Royals choose to deal him.Â More likely is the Royals keep both as a nice 1-2 punch in the rotation as they try to build the team back into annual respectability.
Fausto Carmona or Cliff Lee:Â CarmonaÂ 10:$4.9M, 11:$6.1M, 12:$7M club option, 13:$9M club option, 14:$12M club option, Lee 10:$8M club option ($1M buyout) I bet the Indians wish they could go back in time and undo Carmona’s contract.Â They signed him after a spectacular 2007 which he has not come close to duplicating since.Â They recently demoted Carmona, bypassing their AAA or AA teams and instead sent him to the rookie-level Arizona Summer League.Â He would seem to have little value.Â Cliff Lee’s name is oft mentioned because he is in the last year of his current contract (club option) and the Indians may wish to get something for him as opposed to just paying him $1 million to go away.
Jarrod Washburn:Â 09:$10.35M The Mariners lefty is in the last year of his contract, the M’s may decide to get something for him before he might leave via free agency.Â Carlos Silva has the contract they’d rather shed, but he’s Carlos Silva.
Paul Maholm or Ian Snell:Â MaholmÂ 10:$4.5M, 11:$5.75M, 12:$9.75M club option ($0.75M buyout) SnellÂ 10:$4.25M, 11:$6.75M club option, 12:$9.25M club option Neither of these guys make a lot of money by today’s standards, but neither did Nate McLouth and Pittsburgh sent him packing nonetheless, so if they decided to part with a starting pitcher it would likely be one of these two.Â Personally I think they’d be nuts to trade Maholm, so it will probably happen.
Roy Oswalt:Â 10:$15M, 11:$16M, 12:$16M club option ($2M buyout) Astros owner Drayton McLane has said publicly and repeatedly that he is not trading Oswalt.Â His team is 5 games below .500, and it has a lot of money committed to Oswalt, but they have won 7 of their last 10 games.
Jason Marquis or Aaron Cook:Â MarquisÂ 09:$9.875M CookÂ 10:$9M, 11:$9.25M, 12:$11M mutual option ($0.5M buyout) The Rockies are 8 games under .500 and 14 games out in the NL West, tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for last place.Â Marquis is in the last year of his contract so the free agency scenario looms.
Jon Garland or Doug Davis:Â GarlandÂ 10:$10M mutual option ($2.5M buyout if club declines, $1M buyout if player declines) DavisÂ 09:$8.75M Both Brandon Webb and Dan Haren make more money, but they are younger and much closer to ace material than either Garland or Davis, and Webb is on the DL.Â If the DBacks choose to move a starter, it would likely be either impending free agent Davis or the overcompensated Garland.
Which of these guys might you want?Â What do you think it would take to get them?Â Who else might become available?
Contract information courtesy of Cot’s Contracts