2017 FREE AGENTS
The free agent list for the winter is really weak. There are some veterans available but each comes with a certain amount of risk. There are some familiar faces on the free agent list.
The veteran right hander has seemed to have found his groove in 2016 as a member of the Padres. Perhaps Balsley got through to Jackson in some regard. His stuff has always been there it is just a matter of harnessing it. Out of all the veterans on this list he seems like the best fit. He will not cost the team an arm and a leg and Jackson comes with the pedigree of being able to eat innings. A.J. Preller and the Padres will surely kick the tires on bringing Jackson back for the 2017 season.
The knuckle ball pitcher and 2012 Cy Young Award winner is now 41 and his career is clearly winding down. Dickey is 8-12 in 24 starts for the Blue Jays with a 4.61 ERA and 1.339 WHIP. His numbers are up this season but he does make his start every fifth day. He has five straight years of 32 starts of more and appears well on his way to that this year as well. The Padres need someone to eat innings and if he comes cheap enough, he could be an option for the team. He will put butts in the seats, that’s for sure.
Been there and done that. The Padres will surely not even entertain the idea of bringing Andrew Cashner back to San Diego. He is probably the best available pitcher on the market and will command a hefty pay day. He will get it too. The big right handed pitcher still has top-notch stuff but there has always been the health issues and the consistency problems. Cashner will find a big payday somewhere but it will not be in San Diego.
Hellickson is an interesting pitcher that will hit the open market in the winter. Most people assumed the Phillies would trade him before the trade deadline but they instead held on to him. He still might be dealt before the August (Waiver) Trade deadline but that remains to be seen. He is having a pretty decent year in Philadelphia going 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 24 starts for the Phillies. He picked a great year to produce and will cash in come November. The Padres shouldn’t be players as his price tag will be over-inflated due to a weak market.
Another middle tier pitcher who will get a great contract this winter is Doug Fister. The right handed starter is having an excellent year for the Astros in the last year of his contract. he is currently 11-7 with a 3.61 ERA in 23 starts. Health had been an issue for him, but he has made every start this season and more often than not has been productive. The Padres shouldn’t be players in Fister as he will be too pricey and is a very big health concern.
With 92 career wins as a member of the San Diego Padres, Jake Peavy is only nine wins away from being the franchise’s all-time wins leader. That in itself is a great story but does Peavy still have worth to the Padres in terms of production in the rotation? He could help mentor a young staff and at the age of 35, it is hard to believe that he is done with his major league career. Peavy is pitching out of the bullpen right now for the Giants as the team is loaded with starting pitchers. With a 5-9 record and a 5.35 ERA in 21 starts, he could easily be signed at a discounted rate this winter.
The once dominant pitcher is just a shadow of himself. His velocity is way down. Like mid to high 80 MPH fastballs, down. He does have excellent secondary stuff, but his lack of stuff on his heater is killing his value. He is in the last year of a mega contract in which he will earn $21 million dollars this season. He will be lucky to find a job next spring but could be a low-cost option for the Friars. The team needs an innings eater and he can still do that even though he gets shelled every once in a while.
This 29-year-old right handed starter was supposed to be a Yankee stud for years. He never amounted to much in the pinstripes and the team traded him in July to the Pirates. He has the stuff but has had injury issues and other problems that have slowed his development. Another possible Darren Balsley project, Nova could emerge pitching in the National League and at a spacious field like Petco Park. His price tag should be affordable, look for the Padres to kick the tires on him.
POTENTIAL FREE AGENTS WITH 2017 OPTIONS
Edinson Volquez $10- Million Dollar Mutual Option/$3-Million Buyout
James Shields Can Opt Out of 2-year/$44 Million Dollar Deal
Jon Niese $10-Million Dollar Club Option/$ 500 K Buyout
Derek Holland $11-Million Dollar Club Option/$1-Million Buyout
Gio Gonzalez $12-Million Dollar Club Option/$500 K Buyout
Clay Buchholz $13.5-Million Dollar Club Option/$500 K Buyout
Jason Hammel $10-Million Dollar Club Option/$2-Million Buyout
Jaime Garcia $12-Million Dollar Club Option/$500 K Buyout
Out of this bunch, Holland and Gonzalez make really intriguing options for the Padres. Though I really do not see the Rangers or Nats declining the option for 2017 on either young left-handed pitcher. Only time will tell. All of these pitchers will make out of they become free agents. Well, maybe not Shields. But I do not expect him to opt out which is bad news for the Padres. That means the Padres will be paying $11 million dollars to the White Sox for the 2017 and 2018 season. Ouch.
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