Which Free Agents Remain For Teams Seeking Rotation Help?

    With the holiday slowing down what had become a very rapid offseason, it works as a natural point to take stock of what players clubs could target in the coming weeks. On Monday, MLBTR looked through the remaining free agent relievers coming off the best 2022 campaigns (one of whom has since signed a major league deal). Now we’ll take stock of the rotation options who are still out on the open market.

    There aren’t as many starting pitchers for clubs to sort through as there were bullpen targets, with 19 remaining hurlers who tallied at least 20 rotation innings this past season. We’ll look at the top half of that group by various metrics to determine who teams figure to prioritize as they seek starting pitching depth.

    Note: all figures cited, including league averages, are looking solely at pitchers’ outings as starters.

    ERA (league average — 4.05)

    Johnny Cueto (RHP), 3.29
    Michael Wacha (RHP), 3.32
    Wade Miley (LHP), 3.34
    Bryan Garcia (RHP), 3.54
    Zack Greinke (RHP), 3.68
    Devin Smeltzer (LHP), 4.02
    Zach Davies (RHP), 4.06
    Aníbal Sánchez (RHP), 4.28
    Drew Hutchison (RHP), 4.52

    Strikeout rate (league average — 21.6%)

    Chase Anderson (RHP), 24.6%
    Matt Swarmer (RHP), 22.4%
    Bryan Garcia, 20.2%
    Michael Wacha, 20.2%
    Chris Archer (RHP), 19.2%
    Wade Miley, 18.4%
    Zach Davies, 17.9%
    Chad Kuhl (RHP), 17.8%
    Mike Minor (LHP), 16.7%

    Strikeout/walk rate differential (league average — 14.1 percentage points)

    Michael Wacha, 14.2 points
    Matt Swarmer, 13.1 points
    Dylan Bundy (RHP), 11.1 points
    Chase Anderson, 10.6 points
    Johnny Cueto, 10.5 points
    Wade Miley, 9.2 points
    Michael Pineda (RHP), 9 points
    Aaron Sanchez (RHP), 9 points
    Zach Davies, 8.8 points

    Ground-ball rate (league average — 42.5%)

    Wade Miley, 54.2%
    Aaron Sanchez, 51.3%
    Chase Anderson, 50.9%
    Dallas Keuchel (LHP), 50.2%
    Jared Koenig (LHP), 47.2%
    Chris Archer, 43.7%
    Zach Davies, 42.9%
    Johnny Cueto, 42.5%
    Zack Greinke, 41.3%

    FIP (league average — 4.04)

    Johnny Cueto, 3.76
    Wade Miley, 4.00
    Zack Greinke, 4.03
    Michael Wacha, 4.14
    Chase Anderson, 4.37
    Chris Archer, 4.49
    Aaron Sanchez, 4.61
    Dylan Bundy, 4.66
    Zach Davies, 4.83

    Innings pitched

    Johnny Cueto, 153 1/3
    Dylan Bundy, 140
    Zack Greinke, 137
    Chad Kuhl, 137
    Zach Davies, 134 1/3
    Michael Wacha, 127 1/3
    Chris Archer, 102 2/3
    Mike Minor, 98
    Drew Hutchison, 89 2/3

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