FA Starters Who Eat Innings, and Who Would You Choose?

(Photo by Sol Tucker for TalKNats)

With Erick Fedde non-tendered you have to hope that the Nationals are serious about signing some FA pitchers. DonH, Ghost and I collaborated on creating this table. Ideally pitchers who both eat innings and have quality starts are desirable. A few random notes about the table:

  • Pitchers with QOs are highlighted in yellow. Perez accepted his QO so he is shown with a red background and white text.
  • The two pitchers who we can state categorically are not coming to the Nats (Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom) are in light gray and struck-thru.
  • For comparison purposes the two (now) ex Nats starters are highlighted in red.
  • The table is sorted by descending percentage of Quality Starts.
  • Click on the table to open a full size image in another browser window.
  • You can also download the table as an Excel file if you want to play around with the data.

Which pitchers do you want Rizzo to target – knowing he will need to target multiple guys to get just one (and hopefully more).

The Authors Preferred Targets

Don:  My targets are Johnny Cueto, Jordan Lyles and Zack Greinke. First on my list is Cueto because he is at/near the top for starters and is at the top for average innings pitched. Lyles because other than Cueto and the guys with QOs, he is at/near the top for average innings pitched. And Greinke just because 🙂. Hoping he can be a mentor.

Steve M.: A few weeks ago, I identified Martin Perez, Ross Stripling and Michael Wacha as pitchers the Nats should target. Perez was QO’d so I took him off my list. After some additional fall-out, Johnny Cueto and and Jordan Lyles joined the free agent lists. There’s four pitchers without Q.O.’s at varying price points. I hope Rizzo pounces quickly on two of them.

As I’ve written before, the bar is set low for a team with a 5.97 team ERA. There are so many choices from the list who can give the team length and put the team in a position to win more games. ERA, FIP, and IP/Start are all important factors in the analysis.

Also with the new pitching rules, the team needs to make sure they are looking at pitchers who will adapt better to the pitch clock.

SteveR says Cueto would be the obvious one, but I think he’s going to be well out of our cost point.

I’m looking at guys like Taijuan Walker, Corey Kluber, and Michael Lorenzen. All 3 eat the innings, don’t have many bad starts, and can go 6 innings about half the time. Kyle Gibson another option.

As far as the lower options, I’d be looking at a guy like Mike Clevinger who should be better 2nd year back.


We created this table a while back and have been trying to update as we see announcements (e.g., QOs offered/accepted/rejected). We certainly expect more. We will note these here.

  1. Tyler Anderson rejected his QO and signed with the Angels.
  2. Jake Odorizzi picked up his player option and then was traded.
  3. Jose Urena was signed by the Rockies
  4. Table only includes pitchers who started more than 5 games.

If you download the table and the rows for any of these starters are still there you can just delete them.

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