With camps opening as early as Friday this week, as many as 30 free agent starting pitchers are still looking for work. With some general managers all for the idea of players like John Smoltz waiting until mid-June to sign, to keep them fresh, and available for the playoffs is one way to look at things, but why start this new tradition that Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens felt was a necessary way to go? Pitchers need spring training to get ready for the long season, even though they don't feel they do, thats what spring is for. The waiting game for other pitchers though, is by no means something they have thought long about during the off-season. This is nothing like the NHL free agent period, where signings on July 1st are fast and furious. MLB players that are unsigned after 3 months on the open market are at the nervous stage now, and must lower their demands or risk retirement. Pitchers, who are usually in demand, are now looked at differently if they have had any injury trouble in their careers. It is too much of a risk to take a chance with the money they still fell they deserve.
Listed here are 2 sets of rotations, 1 for the all-free agent rotation, the other, the free-agent / all-injured rotation.
Jarrod Washburn: wants to return to Seattle; Mariners haven't called; injured while a Tiger
Pedro Martinez: Red Sox have called, according to reports
Brandon Backe: Had more then a few terrible games for Houston; worth the risk though as a 5th starter
Livan Hernandez: still hopes to land a starters role
John Smoltz: rumoured to be waiting till mid-June until he decides on who's a contender
All-free agent/all-injured rotation
Chien-Ming Wang: Yankees gave up; Nationals said to have offered $2M guaranteed
Noah Lowry: solid for Giants 2 years ago; keeps cancelling throwing sessions
Kris Benson: former 1st round pick just can't get healthy
Jason Jennings: 1 good season; solid if he finds right team; only 31 years old
Mike Hampton: was on road to success for Astros till setback