The Padres Search for Starting Pitching Continues?

Credit: AP Photo

Let us first explore if there are any free agent starting pitchers looking for work worthy of taking a flier on.

The Padres have money to spend and could easily afford a pitcher if the price is right.

You do need to have some concern when reviewing each of these names as the season starts next week and they failed to land a job. Some were asking for too much money, while others just had no suitors. Not much in this list, but let’s explore it anyway.

Free Agents

R.A. Dickey

The former Cy Young Award winner (2012) is now 43 and a long shot to pitch in the majors again. Dickey had a respectable year last year in Atlanta, where he was 10-10 with a 4.26 ERA in 190 innings pitched. He is only an innings-eater at this point in his career and not even a mid-rotation-type starter. Dickey made $7.5 million last year, but would easily take a fraction of that for another opportunity to pitch at the major league level again. Dickey would probably only be a consideration if the team were decimated by injuries.

Matt Garza

At 34, Garza could still have some life left in him. He is currently shelved after undergoing shoulder surgery in January. The right-handed pitcher could be had for nearly nothing because he would probably not contribute in 2018 very much. Garza would be an investment in the future, something like the team did with Josh Johnson or Brandon Morrow. In the future, the big righty might have more value out of the pen once he returns healthy.

Ubaldo Jimenez

In 2010, Ubaldo was an absolute horse for the Colorado Rockies. He finished the year 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA and struck out 214 batters in 221 innings. His numbers sharply declined after that, as has his velocity. He once topped out in the triple digits, but hasn’t approached that speed in a long time. Ubaldo’s career might be over, but if Darren Balsley could possibly fix him and regain some lost velocity, he could be useful. This is a real long shot though. Especially at this point in the season.

Jeff Locke

The former Pirates’ and Marlins’ left-handed pitcher is available. I am surprised the 30-year-old did not surface somewhere on a minor league deal. He isn’t anything particularly special, but could be useful as a long reliever or back-end starter. He played for $3 million last year in Miami, and could be had at or near the league minimum. Locke is an interesting idea, but at this point, Lucchesi and Lauer would be better options for a developing team in a starting role.

Trade Candidates

Credit: AP Photo

Chris Archer

We have been over this before as he would be the major acquisition via trade. His price tag would be excessive though as he is signed for a relatively inexpensive contract for the next few seasons (around 4-years/$43 million). The Padres would have to part with some serious prospects to get a deal done. Moving Lauer, Quantrill, or Lucchesi at this point could be foolish. The scary thing is that dealing one of those arms would only be a fraction of what the Rays would require for Archer. If the Padres think they are going to compete sooner rather than later, Archer makes sense. However, the price tag would be extraordinary and the team would need to be prepared for the consequences.

Danny Salazar

The Indians have an excess of starting pitchers and the right-handed hurler could be had for the correct price. The 28-year-old Dominican right-hander  has some of the best stuff in all of major league baseball, but has struggled with health and durability. Salazar has never made it through a whole season without being sidelined with some sort of injury. He was 5-6 last year in 23 games and 19 starts, recording a 4.28 ERA. The pitcher struck out 145 batters in 103 innings pitched. Salazar has always been able to rack up the K’s as he owns 686 career strikeouts in 587 innings pitched. He has also walked 210 in that time. If the Padres can harness his mechanics and get a full season or two from him, he could be something special. The price tag would not be cheap, but the Padres have prospects and young major leaguers to get a deal done.

Matt Harvey

“The Dark Knight” has only been a shadow of himself in the past few seasons. Harvey recorded a 6.70 ERA last year in 92 innings pitched. He probably needs to get out of New York to jump-start his career, and even then, I’m not sure if that would help. Luckily for him, he is a free agent at the end of the 2018 season and should be able to sign a deal somewhere. 2018 is a big year for Harvey and he should be motivated to perform. The Mets have intentions of winning so they would not be too eager to deal him. At 29, he is too young to write off, but he needs to turn the corner with his maturity and preparation. The Padres could wrestle him away from the Mets, but there are plenty of red flags to beware of here.

Zack Wheeler

At 27, Wheeler is still capable of being a productive major league pitcher. The former Giants’ top prospect has had arm issues and there are still concerns about his health. He was just sent down to the minors by the Mets after losing a battle for the #5 spot in the rotation. Wheeler is capable of being a decent hurler and could probably be had at a relatively decent price. Though, with so much youth on the way, trading for Wheeler doesn’t really make too much sense for the young Padres.

(Visited 3,192 times, 1 visits today)

7 thoughts on “The Padres Search for Starting Pitching Continues?

  1. As much as Archer is an idea, the hope here is that the answer to the article headline is “yes”… really Archer or anyone else is an upgrade over the pretend rotation we have (again). It would be nice to have a team that isn’t scraping the barrel of non-roster invitees or naming an almost average pitcher its opening day starter. Come on Pads…. arms please…………

  2. Archer has never been anything more than a .500 pitcher. He has regressed over his last two seasons. Advanced stats like Fly Ball rates, walks per 9 innings, HR’s per 9 innings. His WAR the last two seasons have been 2.0 in 2016 and 1.3 in 2017. Now you are right the Rays have been on a slide since making the post season since 2013. Getting into his game logs since his first full season in 2014 he has faded badly over the 2nd halves of the seasons since. Yes he pitches 200+ and gets 220+ SO’s per year but he is not the Horse you can ride into the Postseason, and then excel once a team gets there. To me that is what an ACE is. Looking at the projected cost in trade value, we are talking about a 4/5 for 1 type deal that would decimate our current Top 10 prospects. A package centered around Renfroe and say Quantrill would not even be close. Tatis would have to be invloved plus more. He has a team friendly contract and the folks at Fangraphs think very highly of him over the term of that deal. I say let him stay in Tampa Bay. Let’s get another year under some of our younger players and they might increase their value and if our pitching prospects don’t deliver the anticipated results we can make a move in the future. IMO, we have 4 or 5 arms in our system that project better than Archer. Time will tell.

  3. I wouldn’t bother with any of these options mentioned. Archer yes but like you said to step of a cost. Stick with what they got this year. There’s no need to jump the gun on a flyer unless they can grab someone on the relative cheap through trade or waivers with upside.

  4. I can’t believe you are on this we need more pitching bandwagon also. Archer is the ONLY so-so arm on your entire list and his trade package needed from the Pdres would be way over the top. We have better veterans in camp now than anyone you mention stil available in FA in Ross and CY. We have pitchers coming back from injury in Erlin, Rea, and Strahm. We have two kids now who could start tomorrow in San Diego but will get held back to see what else these other options can do. Mitchell doesn’t excite me at all, he got lit up on TV last night.

    1. I find it funny that you consider Archer a “so-so” pitcher. Put him in the NL West, and he’d dominate. I wouldn’t advocate trading for him though. I agree with you, the vets they have in camp are better than what’s available. Besides, if the Padres were to bring one of those guys in, they should’ve done it earlier in March. It’s too late now. You’ve got to go with what you have.

      1. Archer is not a so so pitcher. You add him to the padre rotation and I believe padres would be a wild card team. I don’t quite get the notion that you guys are saying we have a bunch of veteran pitching. For one Ross/ young aren’t even going to make it to the all star break assum8ng both make the team. Eriln,era and strahm are coming back from injury so they don’t have the arm strength to start. Luis perdomo has looked like sh*t this spring and mitchell is a question mark as well. But I’ll still wait to hear the better veteran option we have in camp…Jordan lyes maybe you where talking about…lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *