Commentary

BP Daily: The bargain pitcher market

2008 had the studs (Sabathia, Burnett) but 2009 will have the steals

Originally Published: September 11, 2009
By Shawn Hoffman | Baseball Prospectus

Want a top-of-the-rotation starter this winter? You might want to check the trade market, because this year's pool of free-agent starting pitchers is mediocre at best and downright boring at worst. That's a sharp contrast from last year's group, which featured CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe at the top, and had teams bidding against each other in one of the worst economic environments we've ever seen.

Getty ImagesJarrod Washburn could be a value addition to a roster this winter.

That's obviously bad news for teams looking for new aces, but it could end up being great for teams looking for bargains. If there's a glut of similar pitchers on the market, it figures that prices will fall, just as they did for outfielder/designated hitter types last year and mid-level starting pitchers the year before that (e.g., Kyle Lohse).

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