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Hot Stove Special: Remaining Free Agent Pitchers

We take a look at remaining free agent pitchers in this special and how they could positively––or negatively–– effect their new teams.

Starters C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle and closers Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell may be gone, but there is still plenty left. The starting pitching has some gems, but there is a plethora of closers and other relievers ready to take on a role for a new team. 

Starters

Roy Oswalt

2011 stats: 9-10, 3.69 ERA, .280 BAA, 2012 age: 34.

Oswalt, arguably the top free agent starter left, has seen inconsistency over the past few seasons because of back issues. After three All Star and nine healthy seasons of dominance in Houston, ran into back issues in 2009 and has been lights out when healthy but at times has been inconsistent. He is a gamble, but there is not much to choose from.

Hiroki Kuroda

2011 stats: 13-16, 3.07 ERA, .254 BAA, 2012 age: 37.

Kuroda has not gotten as much attention as he should because of his losing records with the Dodgers, but his other numbers have been very solid. With a 3.45 career ERA, he deserves more than his 41-46 career record.

Edwin Jackson

2011 stats: 12-9, 3.79 ERA, .290 BAA, 2012 age: 28.

Playing for six teams in the last four years and ready for a seventh in five years, Jackson has pitched all over the place while still maintaining solid numbers. A Boras client and a member of the Cardinals World Series team, Jackson may end up a little bit over-payed.

Paul Maholm

2011 stats: 6-14, 3.66 ERA, .262 BAA, 2012 age: 29-30.

Maholm, like Kuroda, hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as he should, as the Mississippi native has pitched for the Pirates his entire life. Don't let the record fool you; Maholm is a quality left-hander that will fit nicely into the back of almost any rotation. 

Joe Saunders

2011 stats: 12-13, 3.69 ERA, .266 BAA, 2012 age: 30-31.

Non-tendered by the D-Backs, the West Springfield High School (you know, the one 8.5 miles down the road from us here in Vienna) alumnus saw success in the high desert last year and could be even more impressive down at sea-level, granted the Rockies don't sign him. 

Javier Vazquez

2011 stats: 13-11, 3.69 ERA, .243 BAA, 2012 age: 35-36. After a rough year with the Yankees in 2010, Vazquez had a huge second half and even more incredible September in 2011 to put him right back in the mix of top free agent starters. A gamble, Vazquez may be worth it.

Right-Handed Relievers

Ryan Madson

2011 stats: 4-2, 2.37 ERA, .243 BAA, 32/34 saves/opportunities, 2012 age: 31.

The nine-year Phillie leaves Philadelphia with a solid track record that should net him a closer's job in his new home. Another Boras client, he may drive a hard bargain.

Francisco Cordero

2011 stats: 5-3, 2.45 ERA, .198 BAA, 37/41 saves, 2012 age: 37.

Though he turns 37 in May, Cordero may be the safest bet for a closer with Heath Bell and Jonathan Papelbon off the market. Unlike Madson, Cordero has a decade of experience at the back end of the bullpen and is still putting up great numbers.

Brad Lidge

2011 stats: 0-2, 1.40 ERA, .225 BAA, 1/1 saves, 2012 age: 35.

Lidge lost his closing job to Ryan Madson in 2011 because of injury, but he pitched well in the second half and with 223 career saves, he knows how to get the job done.

Left-Handed Relievers

Michael Gonzalez 

2011 stats: 2-2, 4.39 ERA, .250 BAA, 1/2 saves, 2012 age: 34.

Gonzalez is a former closer with very good stuff when healthy, but health is the key for him. He is a gamble, but there is little other left-handed pitching on the market left after the Blue Jays signed Darren Oliver.

Doug Slaten

2011 stats: 0-2, 4.41 ERA, .356 BAA, 0 saves, 2012 age: 32.

Slaten ran into injury issues last season but one would have to look back to 2010 to see him shut down NL lefties, limiting them to a .151 BAA. 

-- 
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves

If your team is not included, please email me and I will add them.

HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage

Zack Silverman

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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