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Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates

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Online  Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#1

Posted: February 01, 2019, 8:11 AM Post
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Last year the Brewers signed Wade Miley and Yovani Gallardo to cheap deals (a cheap non-guaranteed MLB deal for Yo and a minors deal with opt-out for Miley). In 2017 they inked Tommy Milone to a similar deal. While their starting pitching depth now is arguably better, I still think there's a good chance that they'll grab one or two of these types with the hope of catching lightning in a bottle like they did with Miley. So ... who's out there that falls into the category of a guy who either has unfulfilled potential or has had good success in the past, but as fallen on hard times? Looking at the list of who is still available, a few names caught my eye.

Chris Tillman - RHP - Put up some great numbers for several years with the Orioles pitching in the AL East. The last two years were decidedly horrible, but maybe there is something still there?

Doug Fister - RHP - Older, but did some solid work for Detroit, Washington and Houston before the wheels came off in Texas last year. Solid track record, though.

Francisco Liriano - LHP - Another older guy, but he's been durable. Not really a power guy, so he really shouldn't be losing it yet. Plus ....LEFTY! If the Brewers really want a lefty in the rotation, Liriano would come cheap.

James Shields - RHP - Not even close to the ace he was with the Rays years ago, but if you are looking for a veteran who will willingly take the ball every 5 days, and likely keep you in the game, he's your guy.

Brett Anderson - LHP - Lefty alert, lefty alert! Anderson has battled injuries pretty much his whole career, but he's also had periods of effectiveness, and isn't old at only 31.

Jeremy Hellickson - RHP - I've always like the idea of Jeremy Hellickson much more than Hellickson's results. He was supposed to be Tampa Bay's next big ace after Shields, but has never put it together consistently. Still, he's actually been pretty solid while bouncing around to a few teams the last couple years.

Clay Buchholz - RHP - The former Red Sox phenom is 34! (man that makes me feel old) He was actually really, really good for the DBacks last year. I had to do a double take at his numbers. He might be a little more pricey.

Homer Bailey - RHP - Hell, why not? On a minor league deal, there is nothing to lose. Maybe I'm a sucker for former high draft pick phenoms?

All these guys (except maybe Hellickson and Buchholz) should be available for either minor league deals or cheap non-guaranteed MLB deals.


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#2

Posted: February 01, 2019, 9:54 AM Post
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I really like Liriano to fill the Suter role from last year. He can still dominate lefties and be very useful in the pen and his first time through the order he is tough.

If the Brewers could sell him on the same change they made to Gio to severely reduce the use of a sinking fastball and go more with the four-seam, the change up and slider that still produce elite swing and miss rates would play better. I'm really cheering for this move to happen.


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Online  Re: Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#3

Posted: February 01, 2019, 1:54 PM Post
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I could get on board with Tillman or Hellickson, possibly Liriano in a pen role. The others don't interest me all that much.


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#4

Posted: February 01, 2019, 4:23 PM Post
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1. Bucholz- Would crack the rotation. $4.5 million.plus incentives.
2. Liriano- #4 or bullpen, $4 million plus incentives
3. Sheilds- #5, $3 million plus incentives
4. Hellickson- #5, league minimum with incentives
5. Anderson- Minor league deal
6.Tillman- Minor league deal
7. Fister- Minor league deal
8. Bailey- Minor league deal


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#5

Posted: February 01, 2019, 7:38 PM Post
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Hellickson's WHIP belies his SO9 numbers but Boras is his agent.
Bucholz has had flexor issues for two years running and seems to be the pitcher version of Tulo

Any offer here will look like a what Drew Pomeranz received.


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Offline  Re: Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#6

Posted: February 01, 2019, 8:11 PM Post
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To be honest, I'd roll with Guerra starting before paying any of those bums...

Would consider Tillman and Fister on minor league deals only!

No way do I touch Bailey, in any capacity. He is a dumpster fire.


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#7

Posted: February 01, 2019, 8:25 PM Post
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You think they might sign one to a minor league deal with a camp
Invite


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#8

Posted: February 01, 2019, 9:09 PM Post
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turborickey said:
To be honest, I'd roll with Guerra starting before paying any of those bums...

Would consider Tillman and Fister on minor league deals only!

No way do I touch Bailey, in any capacity. He is a dumpster fire.


I said the same thing about Miley last year. Repeatedly. The only thing it proved is that I'm an idiot, and often these guys know more than me.

I don't think we'll see Guerra starting this year, though. He's said as much, and he looked much better in relief. Let him settle in there.


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#9

Posted: February 01, 2019, 9:11 PM Post
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they have said that Guerra will pitch out of the pen this year .


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#10

Posted: February 02, 2019, 12:00 AM Post
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I agree, I want to see Guerra in that relief role, not starting...


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#11

Posted: February 02, 2019, 12:28 AM Post
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Wow this is a list of some pretty terrible pitchers.

I honestly believe our internal options are better.

I'd rather give Zack Brown MLB experience then give any of those guys even one inning as a Brewer.

At first I thought there was a RIP next to there names in place of the RHP.

Because outside of maybe Clay Buchholz their careers are basically dead.

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Online  Re: Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#12

Posted: February 02, 2019, 6:13 AM Post
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A Swing and A Drive said:
Wow this is a list of some pretty terrible pitchers.

I honestly believe our internal options are better.

I'd rather give Zack Brown MLB experience then give any of those guys even one inning as a Brewer.

At first I thought there was a RIP next to there names in place of the RHP.

Because outside of maybe Clay Buchholz their careers are basically dead.


I think that is really short-sighted. So many people said the same thing about Miley last year, me included. His performance told me not to write off anyone.

It also told me that I should be happy that none of us at GMs, because we're all idiots when it comes to personnel.


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#13

Posted: February 02, 2019, 7:59 AM Post
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I think it’s more short sighted if it’s the Brewers plan to try to catch “lighting in the bottle” two years in a row, personally.

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Online  Re: Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#14

Posted: February 02, 2019, 8:13 AM Post
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A Swing and A Drive said:
I think it’s more short sighted if it’s the Brewers plan to try to catch “lighting in the bottle” two years in a row, personally.

Something I appreciate about the current FO is I don’t think “pick-up and pray” is ever likely the plan in free agency. They seemingly take a chance on pitchers they think would benefit from areas such as alterations with their development of a pitch, a change in usage of a specific pitch, or adjustments to their overall pitch mix. It may or may not prove successful, but if they sign one of those rebound candidates it’s likely because there is something they’ve identified that they believe can be improved.


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#15

Posted: February 02, 2019, 8:14 AM Post
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Shields probably doesn't belong on a rebound list. He was 3rd in the AL in innings pitched last year. He had his best WHIP since 2014, allowed less hits (190) than innings pitched (204 2/3), and posted a 1.4 WAR (B-R). He's always been prone to giving up the long ball, but going from Guaranteed Rate Field to Miller Park is a lateral move. He was pretty good against NL opponents too, going 0-2 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.130 WHIP (and that was all against NL Central).

With a team like the Brewers that possesses a strong bullpen especially compared to one of the worst ever in Chicago last year, he wouldn't be asked to go 7 innings every game and be as exposed in the 3rd and 4th times through as he was in Chicago but if needed to eat innings, he can do that.


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Online  Re: Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#16

Posted: February 02, 2019, 9:35 AM Post
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I'd only have an interest in adding a lefty. I think Liriano is done. Minimal interest in Brett Anderson but wouldn't completely rule him out. He was pretty much league average in BABIP and HR/FB%...so there doesn't appear to be anything fluke-ish about the 4.48 ERA. That's probably what he is at this point, a pitcher that will post a ~4.50 ERA. His xFIP was a much better 3.91 but his strikeout rate was terrible (5.27 K/9). His lack of durability is what steers me away in the end.

While all the talk is happening that involves some bigger names, my best guess is that Stearns is done with the all major moves and is likely trolling the market looking for some "lower end" lefty pitching as insurance. Only two lefties on the 40 man if Suter is subtracted. That has to be a concern.


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#17

Posted: February 02, 2019, 12:46 PM Post
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I’d take anyone on a minor league deal, personally.


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#18

Posted: February 02, 2019, 1:03 PM Post
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JohnBriggs12 said:
Shields probably doesn't belong on a rebound list. He was 3rd in the AL in innings pitched last year. He had his best WHIP since 2014, allowed less hits (190) than innings pitched (204 2/3), and posted a 1.4 WAR (B-R). He's always been prone to giving up the long ball, but going from Guaranteed Rate Field to Miller Park is a lateral move. He was pretty good against NL opponents too, going 0-2 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.130 WHIP (and that was all against NL Central).

With a team like the Brewers that possesses a strong bullpen especially compared to one of the worst ever in Chicago last year, he wouldn't be asked to go 7 innings every game and be as exposed in the 3rd and 4th times through as he was in Chicago but if needed to eat innings, he can do that.


Not having to face DHs would help Shields... makes for an interesting buy-low candidate.

One year, $4 million with a team option for 2020 at $5 million or buyout of $1.5 million.


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Offline  Re: Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#19

Posted: February 02, 2019, 2:45 PM Post
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Drew Pomeranz is a younger lefty and just signed with GIANTS for less than what u are proposing to give Shields.

No harm in signing any of these guys to a minor league deal I guess, but not interested in more than that.

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Online  Re: Free agent starting pitcher rebound candidates
#20

Posted: February 02, 2019, 3:13 PM Post
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A Swing and A Drive said:
I think it’s more short sighted if it’s the Brewers plan to try to catch “lighting in the bottle” two years in a row, personally.


You need to operate that way to be a successful GM, especially when you work for a small market. The Brewers should be signing several of these types every season. The chances of it working are slim, but if it does, that can be the difference between making the playoffs or not. Having success with Miley should be more reason to do this, not less. It’s hard proof that their research and analytics work.


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