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The Starting Pitcher Market

Last week at the Winter Meetings, the Phillies were said to have interest in Derek Lowe. Not much else reported. Currently the Phils remain interested in him.

So here’s what’s out there:

Tier 1

Derek Lowe
The only surefire top-tier pitcher remaining in the market, he seemed close to the Phillies, but they’ve said to have backed off lately. The Yankees have bowed out, and the Red Sox don’t seem highly interested. That means it’s the Phils and, probably, the Mets. For Lowe, measure by the AJ Burnett deal of 5Y/$82.5M.
Expected contract: Four years, $62 million
Expected return: 50-44, 3.79 ERA

Tier 2

Ben Sheets
Good enough to be a top-line pitcher, but injured enough not to be, Sheets remains a lower-risk option. The Rangers were heavier on him, and there’s a chance the Braves or Cardinals might jump in. Not much else.
Expected contract: Two years, $25 million
Expected return: 23-10, 3.51 ERA

Tier 3

Jamie Moyer
We know the drill — the Phils want Moyer back, and Moyer wants to come back. But the Phils won’t give Moyer more than $7M per season. He still remains a good two-year option, but with caution.
Expected contract: 2 years, $14 million
Expected return: 25-22, 4.48 ERA

Oliver Perez
It seems evident there’s no Phillie interest in Perez, who can either be very good or very bad. He’s a good No. 4 option, but wants a nice chunk of change.
Expected contract: 3 years, $36 million
Expected return: 35-20, 4.27 ERA

Brad Penny
Where’s the market? One bad year ripe with injuries, and suddenly teams are more akin to taking on the Braden Loopers of the world. Penny remains a high-reward pitcher.
Expected contract: 2 years, $15 million
Expected return: 28-16, 3.71 ERA

Tier 4

Randy Wolf
Our old friend is open to any destination, and could look fine in pinstripes again. Finally healthy, he performed well for Houston last season. Now he’s looking for a three-year pact, at best.
Expected contract: 2 years, $13 million
Expected return: 23-19, 4.36 ERA

Jon Garland
Garland might not translate well in Philadelphia, but he’s extremely durable and effective for a back-end piece. He’s been inquired about by a few teams: Saint Louis, Baltimore, the Mets.
Expected contract: 2 years, $13 million
Expected return: 27-22, 4.52 ERA

Braden Looper
A bit cheaper than the others, Looper hasn’t quite proven himself as a great starter, but he can work the back end. Baltimore has rumored to be talking to him.
Expected contract: 2 years, $10 million
Expected return: 23-20, 4.60 ERA

Paul Byrd
The 38-year-old former Phillie likely will get a two-year deal somewhere. He’s a reliable back-end option, and as he wants to pitch close to his home of Atlanta, he’ll be looking on the east coast. The Phils remain a small possibility.
Expected contract: 2 years, $10 million
Expected return: 22-22, 4.67 ERA

Other options

Names that might make sense: Tim Redding … Livan Hernandez … Odalis Perez … Mark Prior … Carl Pavano … Mark Mulder.
Names that aren’t coming to Philly: John Smoltz … Randy Johnson … Andy Pettitte.

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