It is a well known fact that ball clubs around major league baseball will overpay for their starting rotation. Look no further than the deals that have come about in the past few weeks: Jason Vargas signed a 4 year, $32 million deal, Ricky Nolasco signed a 4 year, $49 million deal, Tim Lincecum received a 2 year, $35 million deal, and Tim Hudson signed a 2 year, $23 million deal.
There are three pitchers who are not on the list and who will be looking for even bigger contracts: Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and Ubaldo Jimenez. Winter meetings start on Sunday and it could mean that the asking price is about to get a lot bigger for these three. If the market for starting pitchers stays hot then I bet these guys will receive inflated contracts and Ubaldo does not sign with the Tribe. But if teams are unwilling to meet their demands, we may see him in an Indians uniform next season.
There was a lot of chatter about Cleveland signing Tim Hudson, but since he has gone to San Francisco and Scott Kazmir opted for Oakland, the Indians will have to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher. For another team to sign Jimenez means we receive their first round draft pick. There aren’t many clubs that are willing to do that.
To be ready for next season, the Indians will have to sign one more starting pitcher and another relief pitcher to bolster their bullpen. Salazar will fill the void left by Kazmir, but if Ubaldo does not come back to Cleveland, we’ll need another pitcher for the back end of the rotation.
Another option since Kazmir has gone is trading for Brett Anderson. This morning, Buster Olney from ESPN.com posted a tweet saying the Indians & Mariners were interested in signing Anderson.
A lot will be happening in the next few weeks around MLB. Check back here for more updates or follow us on Twitter: @LivingWithCLE.