MLBTR Poll: Where Will Michael Wacha Sign?

When Nathan Evaldi The top remaining starting pitchers in the free-agent market (according to MLBTR rankings) who have agreed to sign with the Rangers are: Michael WachaIn fact, Wacha is the only starting pitcher left from the top 50 free agents.

As it stands, the Orioles are the only known team to have checked in with the 31-year-old looking to finish his best season with the Red Sox in a while. Last season, Washa started in 23 games with Boston, posting a 3.32 ERA in 127 1/3 innings. That mark was accompanied by his fairly mediocre 20.2% strikeout rate and his solid 6% walk rate. 260 opponent BABIP suggests a bit of luck is involved, certainly his FIP for Wacha this season was his 4.14. That said, it was a much improved show for Washa than it has been recently.

In 2020-21, Washa pitched 158 2/3 innings with the Mets and Rays and had a 5.39 ERA. This his 2nd season improved his strikeout percentage, but his HardHit% and home run percentage were the best of his career.

Wacha was once a highly touted prospect in the Cardinals system. In his first three of his seasons, he pitched 353 innings with a 3.21 ERA and won his NLCS MVP award for 2013. He faced the Dodgers in that series. He was never a big strikeout pitcher, but he kept his ball well on the ground, restricted his walking, and induced enough soft contact to be a very effective starter.

The last three seasons have proved to be comfortably Wacha’s best, and since the 2016 campaign, he has pitched 800 2/3 innings on the ball with a 4.42 ERA. He’s been on his one-year contract for the past three seasons, but a solid campaign last season will see him earn a modest two-year guarantee this winter. MLBTR is projecting his two-year, $16MM contract with Wacha, and there’s a good chance he’ll at least match that, especially given how well he’s done as a starting pitcher in free agency this winter. seems to be enough.

For who’s interested, not only are the Orioles the only team reported to have checked in (although there were certainly others), they mean a lot as well. They have been linked to and signed by a number of mid-tier starters this winter Kyle Gibson One year, $10 million deal. Still, there are some options on the backend of the rotation, mostly with his less MLB experience, and adding someone like Wacha could give him a little more stability.

Both the Angels and Padres had a relationship with Eovaldi before signing with the Rangers, so it makes sense to consider them as second-best options whenever possible. I have. Shohei Ohtani When Tyler Anderson top and southpaw Reed Detmers, Patrick Sandoval When Jose Suarez round it up. However, LA often works in six-person rotations to manage Otani’s workload, and Washa could fit nicely as another starting option.

The Padres, too, appear to be laying the groundwork for a starting five, just as the Angels can do with a sixth option. Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell When With Darvish fixed in the first three spots, Nick Martinez When Seth Lugo Fill in the turns with a pencil. Reports suggest San Diego plans to use the latter two of him as starters, but both of them often work as relief pitchers these days, so the addition of Wacha would make it easier for these two of his. It could be insurance if a person fails to secure his spot starting.

Returning to Boston may be an option.they have Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, James Paxton, Nick Pivetta When Garrett Whitlock Lined up to handle starting missions.Still, Sale and Paxton have suffered grievous injuries (the team is reportedly listening to Sale’s offer), and Whitlock is doing much better in the bullpen. blayan bello There’s also an option to join the rotation at some point, so there’s no clear need to add someone like Wacha, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he returns to Boston.

All three of these teams have ambitions to compete in 2023, but Wacha could also be a good fit for rebuilding the squad. Even if signing him would require his two-year deal, the rebuilding club hopes he will build his solid 2022 campaign and either deadline or next winter will be a valuable trade his chip. You can expect At worst, signing him is unlikely to be an awkward appointment, and even if he doesn’t throw himself into the trade chip, he could serve as an innings eater on a rebuilding team with a young roster.

In that case, perhaps a team like the Reds might agree to bring him in if the price is right. Luis Sessa As it stands, he’s a veteran of the Reds’ rotation, but usually works as a long-term reliever. Outside of Cessa, it’s a young rotation for all of the uncertainty, and the addition of a veteran like Wacha cements things and can take a little pressure off your young arms.

There are a few other possible fits and either the Twins, Royals, Tigers or White Sox could make some sense. ?

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