Friday January 22, 2010
Jed Hoyer and Jeff Moorad have both said in XX 1090 interviews recently that the team is still looking to sign a veteran starting pitcher and a veteran backup catcher.
So who is left for them to choose from?
Here is a list of the biggest name Free Agent Starting Pitchers still on the market.
Right Hand Starting Pitchers
The Padres have already kicked the tires on Jose Contreras and Noah Lowry and come away without making any offers.(Contreras agreed to terms with the Phillies today according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN )
Sheets, Garland and Bedard are all widely thought to be asking more than the Padres are able to pay.
So other than the Padres, what teams are still in the market for a veteran starting pitcher? The Dodgers, Mets, Mariners and Cleveland have huge holes in their starting rotation. Cleveland has no room in their budget so they are probably out of the mix.
The Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Nationals, and Pirates could also use a starter, but more for depth than out of need for a front line guy.
My thinking is that with the 2010 payroll currently being more than $7 million under $40 million the Padres may be able to make a run at any of those guys.
I would prefer to see that money spent on a potential front of the rotaion guy like Sheets, but signing a future Hall of Fame pitcher like Martinez makes sense from the standpoint of what he could teach all the young pitchers on the Padres staff.
Lowry, if finally healthy, could be a good signing, but I don't see him as significantly better option than the kids like LeBlanc, Stauffer and Gallagher that he would be blocking.
How about catchers?
Among guys that could be starters its pretty much Yorvit Torrealba and Rod Barajas. Brad Ausmus, Paul Bako, and Jose Molina round out the list of catchers still on the market.
Torrealba turned down a two year $5.6 million deal with the Rockies in December, so he could be priced well out of the Padres range.
Barajas started 125 games for the Blue Jays last season so he is probably looking for a situation where he can be a starter and that is not the case in Padreville.
Ausmus is a San Diego county resident and other than the Padres and Dodgers, his only real option is to retire. He would be my choice. a good defensive catcher who calls a great game, Ausmus could teach Hundley the finer points of catching.
So who else is in the market? The Dodgers, Rangers and of course, the Padres. Maybe the Yankees as well, but mainly as a minor league signing.
The Padres should still be able to come away with a good backup.