One of the most intriguing parts of the offseason is trying to figure out who the front office will try to target as free agent acquisitions. The Diamondbacks have several positions to focus on as mentioned by fellow Venom Strikes writers Christian Moffett and Tom Lynch in their previous posts, both mentioning the possibility that Dan Haren could return to the team. I agree this would be a good deal for the Diamondbacks, but would like to talk about some other free agent starting pitchers the Snakes need to look at to add to their rotation. Mind you this is simply a list of free agents I feel could help the team for the next few years.
#1 – Scott Kazmir: Kazmir has flown under the radar ever since his days in Tampa Bay, overshadowed by David Price and James Shields. He had some rough years in Los Angeles with the Angels going a subpar 11-17 and a 5.31 ERA. Then he had a decent year last year in Cleveland going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA with 162 strikeouts. Most impressive were his walks per nine innings, going from 4.4 in his years with the Angels to 2.7 with Cleveland. Kazmir is a 29 year old who can still pitch for the next 5 years and a move to the National League could only help his numbers get better. Even though he had a decent comeback year with the Indians, I feel the D-backs could get him at a steal of a price, especially with career numbers of 76 wins and 70 losses and a 4.16 ERA.
#2 – A.J. Burnett: I know what you’re thinking, why would I suggest the D-backs try and sign a 36-year-old with 15 years of MLB experience already on his arm? Well, ever since his move from the New York Yankees to the Pittsburgh Pirates he has gone from a 34-35 record with a 4.79 ERA, four walks per nine innings, and a 1.447 WHIP in the Bronx, to 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA, three walks per nine innings, and 1.228 WHIP with the Pirates. Burnett may be close to retirement, but something tells me pitching in the National League has rejuvenated his career, plus not having a media frenzy around him after every game. Burnett would probably cost more than Kazmir would, but would provide veteran leadership and tenacity for a young core of starting pitchers in Arizona.
#3 – Gavin Floyd: I feel Floyd is a pitcher who has been inconsistent pitching in the American League with the Chicago White Sox and would benefit from a change of scenery. His career numbers are 199-186, with a 4.87 ERA, a 1.338 WHIP and three walks per nine innings. He has been hot and cold throughout his career and coming off surgery, the desert and the National League would be the place for him to reinvent his career.
These are just three of the many starting pitchers who are on the free agent market that I feel the Diamondbacks should be targeting because of the numbers and veteran leadership each pitcher would bring to the D-backs’ staff.
Let me know who you think the Diamondbacks should target in free agency this winter in the comments below.
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