MLB Free Agents 2019-20: Top 10 starting pitchers
Teams looking for starting pitching depth this offseason won't have much trouble as there are plenty of capable arms set to hit the open market.
Two -- possibly three -- of those pitchers enjoyed Cy Young-caliber seasons in 2019. Two (including Rick Porcello, pictured) have already won Cy Young awards in their careers.
So who are the top starters on the free-agent market for the 2019-20 offseason? Here's a look at the top 10. . .
1. Gerrit Cole, RHP
The Astros reportedly "prefer not to exceed luxury tax to bring back Gerrit Cole," meaning the filthy right-hander likely will make a ton of money elsewhere this offseason. He struck out a league-leading 326 while going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 2019.
UPDATE (Dec. 10): The Yankees have landed Cole for the top of their rotation, agreeing to a record nine-year, $324 million contract, a deal first reported by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network.
2. Stephen Strasburg, RHP
*Player Option for 2020
For Strasburg to hit the open market, he'll have to opt-out of the four years, $100 million remaining on his Nationals contract. Considering how great of a season he just had, and the amount he'd get in this free-agent class, it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
UPDATE (Dec. 9): Strasburg has agreed to a record-setting seven-year, $245 million deal with the Nationals, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
3. Madison Bumgarner, LHP
Bumgarner wasn't at his best in 2019 but considering his track record, he shouldn't have any problem signing a mega-deal this winter.
UPDATE (Dec. 15): After spending his entire career with the Giants, Bumgarner is staying in the NL West, agreeing to a five-year, $85 million contract with the Diamondbacks.
4. Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP
Ryu was the NL Cy Young frontrunner for much of the 2019 campaign, then he struggled a bit in the second half. Still, he's going to have a ton of suitors after leading the Dodgers to yet another NL West title.
UPDATE (Dec. 22): Ryu has agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
5. Zack Wheeler, RHP
Wheeler is far from the most consistent option on this list but should still get plenty of attention on the free-agent market given the number of teams in need of rotational depth. The ability to rack up around 200 innings pitched in a season alone makes him a valuable commodity.
UPDATE (Dec. 4): The Phillies have reporteldy come to terms with Wheeler on a five-year deal worth $118 million.
6. Jake Odorizzi, RHP
Odorizzi enjoyed one of the better seasons of his career in 2019. The righty was a bright spot in the Twins' otherwise unimpressive rotation and would benefit plenty of other staff's out there as well.
UPDATE (Nov. 14): Odorizzi has agreed to the Twins' qualifying offer, a one-year, $17.8 million deal.
7. Dallas Keuchel, LHP
Keuchel pitched OK after waiting until June to sign with the Braves. Whether there will be more of a market this time around for the former 2015 Cy Young award winner remains to be seen.
UPDATE (Dec. 21): Keuchel signed a three-year deal worth $55 million with the Chicago White Sox. The deal has a vesting option that can make the deal worth $74 million over four years.
8. Cole Hamels, LHP
Cole Hamels' 2019 wasn't great, though at 35 years old he's still clearly a great middle-of-the-rotation option. No longer can he be considered an ace, but that doesn't mean teams won't be vying for his services in the coming months.
UPDATE (Dec. 4): Hamels has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $18M deal with the Braves, per Jeff Passan.
9. Wade Miley, LHP
Miley was a pleasant surprise for Astros fans in 2019. The ex-Red Sox lefty, who's coming off a season in which he posted a 14-6 record and 3.98 ERA, would be a nice mid/back-end rotation arm for a number of clubs.
UPDATE (Dec. 16): Miley has reportedly agreed to a 2-year, $15M deal with the Reds, per Jon Heyman.
10. Rick Porcello, RHP
Porcello will be the first to tell you that he was pretty terrible in 2019. It could hurt his market value this offseason, though one should not forget about the absolute workhorse he's proven to be over the course of his career. Sox fans won't ever forget about that 2016 AL Cy Young season, either. Don't bet against Porcello having a bounceback campaign with whichever team he decides to sign with next season.
UPDATE (Dec. 12): Porcello has agreed on a one-year contract, $10 million with the New York Mets, per Ken Rosenthal.