Free Agent Rankings: Starting Pitchers (2 of 3)

I hope that everyone thoroughly enjoyed their Thanksgiving. Today we are going to jump right back into our analysis of the Marlins and look at the likelihood of more pitchers potentially signing with the Miami Marlins. If you missed our first part of the analysis click here to get caught up.

 

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Ubaldo Jimenez:

Jimenez is a feast or famine pitcher. When he is on, he is virtually untouchable. When he is off, he is a disaster. Fortunately for Jimenez, he was very “on” during the second half of his contract year. Jimenez is a high strikeout, low control pitcher. He reminds me of a right-handed Dontrelle Willis in a lot of different ways. Take that comparison however you like.

Jimenez will strike out quite a lot of hitters, which will earn him a sizeable contract regardless of his control problems. He is still pretty young for a free agent, at only 29 years old currently.

Steamer projects Jimenez to post an ERA of 3.88 and a strikeout rate of 8.71, both decent. Jimenez is very durable and is an innings-eater. I project him to be a solid number 2, possibly even a low-end number 1 starter. He projects to a 4 to 5 year contract around 13 million per season.

I like Jimenez but I don’t think he fits easily into the Marlins plans, however if they were able to sign him, I would be very happy. The Marlins would have to spend too much money to get him. I think ultimately Jimenez will not sign with the Marlins.

Likelihood of Becoming a Marlin: 3/10

 

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Kazmir:

Kazmir, another Cleveland Indian free-agent, is an intriguing option for the Marlins. Just a few years ago Kazmir was unable to even get a minor league contract. After rediscovering his fastball, he has made the unbelievable trek back to the major leagues. He is also relatively young, not yet 30 years old.

Steamer projects Kazmir to average a higher strikeout rate than Jimenez, at 9.23. He is also projected to only allow 3.51 runs per nine innings. Kazmir really starts to separate himself from Jimemez when you look at his control. He averaged 2.68 walks per nine innings, almost half of what Jimenez allowed.

Due to Kazmir’s history, He is unlikely to command either the years, or the money that Jimenez will. Kazmir can probably be had for 1 year, 10 million dollars, or maybe 2 years for around 18 million.

I really like Kazmir for the Marlins. I think he would be useful for a mid-season trade to acquire more talent next year, and I view him as a fairly low risk, high upside player. One place that the Marlins are lacking is having a left-handed starter. Brian Flynn and Andrew Heaney will eventually help them in that department, but not right now. To me, Kazmir makes a lot of sense and I think he has a decent chance of signing with Miami.

Likelihood of Becoming a Marlin: 7/10

 

Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Hiroki Kuroda:

I want to describe Kuroda as an ageless wonder. He might not quite qualify for that status yet, but he is certainly working on it. Kuroda will be 39 years old before he throws his next major league pitch, and while there may be some rumors that are circulating regarding Kuroda potentially heading back overseas to continue his baseball career, I have to believe that he will pitch at least one more season here in the states.

Kuroda isn’t a strikeout pitcher, but he has excellent command over his pitches. Steamer predicts an ERA of 3.61 next year to go along with 189 innings. Kuroda is a work-horse. Since 2010 he has thrown over 200 innings in 3 out of  4 years, with the 4th ringing in at 196 innings. One has to think that eventually he is going to hit a wall, but he hasn’t shown signs of that yet.

It looks like Kuroda is going to earn a 1 year contract around 18 million dollars. That is probably a little steep for the Marlins, especially if something were to happen to Kuroda and the Marlins were unable to flip him to a contender. The Marlins really should be focusing on tradeable assets and Kuroda comes as a high-risk, high-reward.

Ultimately I think that Kuroda’s substantial price tag will be one of the main reasons that the Marlins are eliminated from the Kuroda sweepstakes pretty early. Dont expect him to sign in Miami.

Likelihood of Becoming a Marlin: 1/10

That is part two of our 3 part series on starting pitching. Be sure to check back here often for updates on free agent rumors and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest Marlins’ news.

 

Topics: Hiroki Kuroda, Miami Marlins, MLB, Scott Kazmir, Ubaldo Jimenez

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