The San Diego Padres need for starting pitching is quite obvious.
The 2017 spring training period will be an open audition for as many as nine arms as Luis Perdomo, Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard, Jhoulys Chacin, Jarred Cosart, Paul Clemens, Tyrell Jenkins, Cesar Vargas, and Christian Friedrich will all try to earn a spot in the Padres’ rotation.
The team needs starting pitchers to complete the 2017 season and there will be no shortage of arms for the team to take a look at this March. If A.J. Preller and the rest of the upper management wish to add new talent, they certainly can do so, as there are plenty of options currently on the open market. Veteran pitchers are found throughout this list and each could easily be signed as they clearly all want one more shot at potentially starting in the major leagues. That in itself is enticing for a pitcher, and the main reason why the Padres were able to sign Chacin and Cahill at a discount rate.
At this point, the Padres are looking for veteran arms. These hurlers can build value pitching at Petco, and possibly be moved later in the season for prospects to further improve this developing farm system. That is the correct way to do things in this day and age of the game . It’s obviously the plan for this team on the build.
The Padres have an opportunity to get some real decent value from their starting pitchers. Their staff will not rival that of the Red Sox, Mets or Tigers, but they will be full of hungry pitchers who are motivated to perform to the best of their abilities. That in itself is a great thing, as each day the Padres will have a competitor out on the mound.
For 2017, the Padres will rely on a mostly veteran staff, but there are some young pitchers who are really close to possibly making an appearance at Petco. Andrew “Walker” Lockett and Dinelson Lamet are probably the closest to reaching the majors, but each still needs a little bit of seasoning before they are truly ready for major league service time.
Now let’s take a look at the remaining starting pitchers on the open market and whom the Padres could be targeting.
It is surprising that this right-handed pitcher has not found a job yet. He is clearly looking for the best deal around and should sign within the next few weeks. At the age of 32, Fister might have some decent seasons left in him. He was 12-13 last season with the Astros, recording a 4.64 ERA in 32 games and 180 innings pitched. He does not blow people away with his stuff by any means, but he can be quite good when he has his mechanics on track. With a career record of 77-76 and a 3.60 ERA, Fister is a decent option on the free agent market currently.
The former Friar is in the tail end of his career. There is no doubting that. He could provide a team with an experienced starter and a mentor for young players. Last season, Peavy went 5-9 with a 5.54 ERA in 31 games (21 starts) and 118 innings pitched for the Giants. He has 92 career wins as a Padres player and is eight wins away from Eric Show‘s franchise record of 100 wins. Peavy will have to fight for a roster spot and will need a great spring to win a job somewhere. He just doesn’t have the stuff he once did, but he is a fierce competitor on the mound.
“The Freak” is still looking to be a starter in the game of baseball, and is holding out hope that he will get that chance once again. He had a horrendous year last year for the Angels, as he went 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA and an incredible 2.374 WHIP in nine starts. In 38 innings last year, Lincecum gave up 11 home runs and walked 23 batters. He is still 32, but he looks to be done. The man still wants to pitch and the fact he is a former 2-time Cy Young Award winner dictates he will be given a chance by someone. Buyer beware.
He has been used out of the pen mostly for the past two seasons by the Cubs, but he is an intriguing option for a team looking for a left-handed starter. Wood has plenty of experience starting, as he did so with the Reds for most of the beginning of his career. He went 4-0 last season in 61 innings pitched out of the pen, recording a 2.95 ERA. In his seven-year career, he has a 43-52 record with 133 games started. Wood is an excellent hitter to boot and would be fun to see on a National League team where he could swing the bat every fifth day.
The left-handed pitcher from Mexico is getting up there in age at 35, but he might still have some value. He had some very productive seasons in Colorado for the Rockies and should be able to find a spot somewhere this spring. In 2016, he went 8-9 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.642 WHIP in 27 games (24 starts) and 134 innings pitched. He has a career record of 101-84 with a 4.64 ERA. His velocity has been decreasing in recent years, so that is a definite concern for a potential suitor. Being a left-handed pitcher though, will always give him a foot in the door.
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