With Nathan Eovaldi Best starting shooter remaining in the free agent market (based on MLBTR rank) by agreeing to a deal with Rangers michael vacha. In fact, Wacha is the only remaining starting shooter from the Top 50 free agency.
In its current form, the Orioles are the only known team for the Red Sox to control the 31-year-old who is out of his best season in a while. Wacha made 23 starts for Boston last season with a 3.32 ERA in 127 1/3 innings. This sign came with a fairly pedestrian drop rate of 20.2% and a solid walking rate of 6%. What’s more, .260 rival BABIP suggests some luck was at work, and Wacha’s FIP remains at 4.14 for the season. However, it was a much more advanced show for Wacha than recently.
In 2020-21, Wacha hit 158 2/3 hits for the Mets and Rays, achieving a 5.39 ERA. Those two seasons came with better batting rates but were comfortably career highs as were HardHit % and home run rates.
Wacha was once a highly touted candidate in the Cardinals system. Wacha, who was selected 19th overall in 2012, made his major league debut in 2013 at the age of 21. He hit 353 with 3.21 ERA balls in his first three seasons and received the 2013 NLCS MVP award for his efforts. In that series against the Dodgers. He was never a great pitcher, but he kept the ball on the ground well enough, limited walks, and provided soft enough contact to be an extremely effective start.
Those three seasons have been comfortably Wacha’s best, throwing 800 2/3 hits of 4.42 ERA balls since the 2016 campaign. He’s signed one-year deals over the past three seasons, but his solid campaign last season could ensure he’s secured a modest two-year warranty this winter. MLBTR has envisioned a two-year, $16 million deal for Wacha, and the chances of getting it at least seem certainly high, especially given how good he has been to start the pitch this winter in free agency.
As for who might be interested, the Orioles aren’t just the only team reported to check in (though there have been others), but they’re also very logical. They’ve been associated and signed with a number of mid-tier startups this winter. Kyle Gibson to a one-year, $10 million deal. Still, there are a few options on the back end of their rotation, but most shed some light on their MLB experience, and adding someone like Wacha will give them a little more stability.
Angels and Padres were linked to Eovaldi before signing with Rangers, so it makes sense to look to them as much as possible for the next best option. Angels have a pretty solid five-man rotation. Shohei Ohtani and Tyler Anderson top and south claws Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez by rolling. LA nevertheless worked with a six-man rotation to manage Ohtani’s workload, and Wacha might fit nicely as another starting option for them.
The Padres also seem to have laid the groundwork for the top five, but just as the Angels could do with a sixth option. Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell and Yu Dervish locked to the first three points with Nick Martinez and Seth Lugo drawn in pencil to fill the rotation. Reports have suggested that San Diego plans to use the latter two as starters, but both have generally worked as a relief lately, so adding Wacha might give them some insurance against the failure of these two to lock in a starting point.
A return to Boston may also be an option. they have Chris Sales, Corey Kluber, James Paxton, Nick Pivetta and Garrett Whitlock lined up to complete the starting duties. Still, Sale and Paxton were badly injured (and the team reportedly listened to offers on Sale), while Whitlock did much better at bullfighting. youth Brian Bello it’s also an option to join the rotation at some point, so there’s no obvious need to add someone like Wacha, but it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if he makes it back to Boston.
While all three of these teams have ambitions to compete in 2023, Wacha may also be eligible to rebuild teams. Even if it takes a two-year deal to sign him, a restructuring club can hope he can build on his solid 2022 campaign and turn himself into a valuable trade-in by the deadline or next winter. At worst, signing him wouldn’t be a painstaking undertaking, and even if he doesn’t get himself into a trade chip, he could work as a kicker on a remake team with a younger roster.
In that case, perhaps a team like the Reds might be eligible to pick it up if the price is right. Luis Cessa He is a senior player of the Reds rotation in his current form, but has typically worked as a long-term assistant. Outside of Cessa, a junior rotation for all the uncertainty and the addition of a veteran like Wacha could solidify things and take some of the strain off their junior arms.
There are a few other possible matches and any of Gemini, Royals, Tigers and White Sox can make sense. Where do you see wacha signing this winter?