Although there hasn’t been much in terms of major action on the free agent market yet this offseason, two starting pitchers who the Brewers could have targeted have fallen off the market recently. Let’s take a look at the deals they received and if the Brewers should regret not making a harder push on these players.
Signed with Florida Marlins; 1 year, $7 million
Vazquez was one of the better pitchers of the last decade from 2000-2009 by advanced metrics, posting a staggering 49 fWAR in that stretch between five different teams. However, Vazquez’s ERA of 4.26 is a full third of a run higher than his FIP, which that fWAR number is based off. For that reason, he has never been considered as a top flight pitcher. The debate over Vazquez’s career is an interesting one – Keith Law certainly knows all about it – but there’s no debate over Vazquez’s 2010. It was awful by any metric. Vazquez posted a 5.32 ERA and 5.56 FIP in 157 innings with the Yankees, but his excellent ’08 and ’09 prompted the Marlins to take a risk on him. I liked Vazquez as a possibility for the Brewers, but not at quite this price, as he will be a reclamation project and I’d rather have something more of a sure thing for $7 million dollars.
Signed with Los Angeles Dodgers, 1 year, $5 million with $8 million vesting option
I wrote about Garland here at FanGraphs, so check that out for more.
I feel like Garland would’ve been a perfect fit for the Brewers, particularly at this price. However, Garland probably didn’t want to leave the West Coast – he’s been in the NL West since 2008. I’m not sure Garland was ever an option for Milwaukee.
The Mets are also rumored to be close to a deal with former Padre Chris Young, but I’m not sure that he can be considered MLB starting pitching material any more. He’s only thrown 96 innings the past two seasons, and they weren’t particularly encouraging – particularly his 5.21 ERA/5.49 FIP in 2009.