2010 baseball free agent list

Here is a list of potential free agent starting pitchers for 2010. I wish this were like the old “Wheel of Fortune” of the 1980s and I could give you $30 million to wander around and pick a few of these guys and put the rest on a gift certificate, but the reality is the Astros’ payroll will go down next year, so if you’re picking one of these guys to fit into the rotation in 2010 you will need to exercise restraint.

Another thing to keep in mind is that once these options are picked up, there won’t be a great amount of attractive talent available. That means the price will go up.

The guys with asterisks have options for 2010, and the (A) next to the names means that pitcher projects as a Type A free agent. And (B) means Type B free agent. So who do you like? (This list is the product of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.)

Brandon Backe, HOU
Miguel Batista, SEA
Josh Beckett, * BOS
Erik Bedard, SEA (B)
Daniel Cabrera, ARZ
Bartolo Colon, CWS
Jose Contreras, COL
Doug Davis, ARZ (B)
Justin Duchscherer, OAK (B)
Adam Eaton, COL
Kelvim Escobar, LAA
Jon Garland, * LAD (B)
Tom Glavine, ATL
Mike Hampton, HOU
Rich Harden, CHC (A)
Tim Hudson, * ATL
Randy Johnson, SF (B)
John Lackey, LAA (A)
Cliff Lee, * PHI (A)
Braden Looper, * MIL (B)
Jason Marquis, COL (B)
Kevin Millwood, * TEX
Brett Myers, PHI
Vicente Padilla, * LAD (B)
Carl Pavano, MIN
Brad Penny, SF
Odalis Perez, WAS
Andy Pettitte, NYY (B)
Joel Pineiro, STL (B)
Sidney Ponson, KC
Jason Schmidt, LAD
John Smoltz, STL
Tim Wakefield, BOS (B)
Jarrod Washburn, DET
Brandon Webb, * ARZ (B)
Todd Wellemeyer, STL (B)
Randy Wolf, (A)


I believe there should be an asterisk beside Wakefield; I read somewhere the Red Sox have a permanent option on him.

I would stay away from all the As and Bs if they?re offered arbitration and refuse it. We don?t need to give away our draft picks.

And……….where pray tell are the Astros going to find the
money????????????? Drayton will shop in the garbage bin
for another starter. You know it, and WE know it.

–>Randy Wolf: the number one choice, for reasons that have been stated time and again. Coming off such a great year though, the price just might be too high.

–>Jason Marquis: doing what he did this year in Colorado certainly bodes well for him, if you can do it in Coors you can probably do it anywhere. He’s been right around average on the whole for his career, and could be a solid #3 starter at a reasonable price. Hasn’t really ever had much injury trouble. Could be the best overall option.

–>Brett Myers: another guy who’s been pretty solid on the whole and hasn’t struggled with a lot of injuries. Coming off a so-so year, he could be the right price, especially since he was drafted under Wade. Just getting him out of Citizens Bank should be a boost to his numbers.

Honestly, anyone else is either going to be too expensive or not good enough to be worth it in the first place.

Leaving out guys with options, guys who will definitely be too expensive (pretty much Lackey), and Type A free agents (also Lackey), here are guys who would be okay pickups:Bedard, Davis, Duchscherer, Harden, Marquis, Penny, Pettite, Wolf, Pineiro… and one more you didn’t mention, Sheets.Of those, Wolf, Pineiro, and Harden have a good chance of being too expensive, even though they would be my favorites.If you want to assume we can’t get those three, I guess I would suggest Duchscherer or Sheets.

As both an Astros and Phillies fan, I am going to give a big HECK NO to Brett Myers. He’s going to go for too much, for a guy who’s a major head case and VERY streaky. He hasn’t had a good solid season since 2006, since then he’s been average. And Ashitaka, he actually does better in Citizens Bank Park than outside of it…overwhelmingly so. According to ESPN’s stats, his home ERA from 2006-2008 was 3.42, away 5.05.

Guessing that the Astros stay away from type A and B free agents, I’d say some good (although risky) picks might be:

-Kelvim Escobar…major injury concern but had very good 2006 and 2007 seasons.

-Brad Penny – looking good with SF so far – looks like he needs to stick to the NL…but he’ll still probably ask for too much

I think the bigger question is do you think that the Astros are really just a starting pitcher or two from actually being competitive? At what point do you say it’s time to start rebuilding or at the very least retooling? Is there a chance any Astros will get traded this offseason to help restock the farm system? Who’s going to play the left side of the infield? Who’s going to catch? Do you really want to have another year of Kaz Matsui at 2nd?

Anyway, I’d say of the guys on that list that aren’t type A’s, (but might be good enough to actually have an impact on the rotation), I’d go with 2 of


Would love to see Lackey in the ‘stros rotation next year, but that’s never going to happen. I like Marquis’ consistency year to year. He could help us. Wouldn’t mind seeing the ‘stros take a chance on Duchscherer.

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