“Daddy, where does pitching come from?”

Here are the top 40 starting pitchers in Major League Baseball, by ERA, and how their current club acquired them, with 2008 salary.   Kazmir lacks the innings to qualify, but I added him in anyway.

And just to make you feel bad, former Rangers property are in bold type:

Player                        Club          ERA        How Acquired                  Salary          

1) Justin Duchscherer    OAK         2.02        Minor League Trade         $2,000,000

**  Scott Kazmir               TB          2.03          Pre-Arb Trade                 $3,700,000

2) Edinson Volquez       CIN           2.08         Pre-Arb Trade                  $380,000

3) Cliff Lee                     CLE          2.34          Minor League Trade          $4,000,000

4) Tim Lincecum            SF            2.54          Draft                               $380,000

5) Ben Sheets                MIL          2.59         Draft (Re-Signed)              $12,000,000

6) John Danks               CWS        2.62         Minor League Trade          $380,000

7) Ryan Dempster         CHC          2.63         Free Agent                     $7,000,000

8) Shaun Marcum            TOR         2.65         Draft                              $380,000

9) Felix Hernandez           SEA         2.83        Int’l Free Agent               $540,000

10) Johan Santana           NYM        2.93        Pre-FA Trade                  $17,000,000

11) Tim Hudson                ATL         2.96        Pre-FA Trade                  $15,000,000

12) Joe Saunders             LAA         3.03         Draft                              $400,000

13) Dan Haren                  AZ           3.04        Pre-FA Trade                  $4,000,000

14) Roy Halladay             TOR         3.12         Draft (Re-Signed)             $10,000,000

15) Jon Lester                 BOS         3.13         Draft                               $380,000

16) Carlos Zambrano       CHC          3.13         Int’l FA (Re-Signed)         $16,000,000

17) Adam Wainwright      STL           3.14         Minor League Trade         $687,000

18) Jair Jurrjens               ATL          3.20         Minor League Trade         $380,000

19) Brandon Webb          AZ             3.23         Draft                              $5,500,000

20) Cole Hamels             PHI            3.27         Draft                               $500,000

21) Ervin Santana           LAA            3.32         Int’l FA                           $420,000

22) Armando Galarraga DET           3.32         Minor League Trade         $380,000

23) John Lannan              WAS          3.34         Draft                               $380,000

24) Gavin Floyd               CWS          3.39          Minor League Trade        $380,000

25) Zack Greinke             KC             3.40          Draft                              $1,400,000

26) Scott Olsen               FLA           3.44           Draft                              $400,000

27) Todd Wellemeyer       STL            3.46          Draft                              $1,000,000

28) Dana Eveland             OAK          3.51          Minor League Trade         $380,000

29)  Greg Maddux            SD             3.52          Free Agent                     $10,000,000

30)  Aaron Cook              COL           3.64          Draft                               $5,000,000

31)  Chad Billingsley        LAD           3.64           Draft                              $400,000

32)  Jeremy Guthrie          BAL          3.64           Minor League Trade         $770,000

33) Nick Blackburn           MIN           3.68           Undrafted                       $380,000

34) Greg Smith                 OAK         3.69           Minor League Trade         $380,000

35) Josh Beckett               BOS         3.73           Pre-FA Trade                  $10,000,000

36) John Maine                 NYM         3.73            Minor League Trade         $450,000

37) Vicente Padilla           TEX            3.74           Pre-FA Trade (Re-Signed) $11,000,000

39) Jamie Shields             TB             3.76           Draft                                $1,000,000

40) Matt Garza                  TB            3.76           Minor League Trade           $380,000

 

OK:  So what’s Mike’s point here?    

Don’t let anyone tell you that spending money on starting pitchers in free agency is the way to go.     There is simply NO EVIDENCE to support that argument.

It’s all about scouting and development folks.  

Out of the top 41 (including Kazmir), here’s how teams acquired these pitchers:

Draft (or undrafted American signee):   16

Free Agent Signee:   2

International (Teen) Free Agent Signee:  3

Minor League Trade:  12

Pre-Free Agency Trade:  8

You either draft and grow it (Kazmir, Lincecum, Sheets, Marcum, Saunders, Lester, Webb, Hamels…)….

Or you use superior scouting to get your hands on someone else’s young arms when it comes time to sell (Duchscherer, Danks, Volquez, Lee, Floyd, Wainwright, Eveland, Smith…)….

Or you use your stocked farm system to trade for the stud before he becomes a Free Agent (Beckett, Hudson, Johan, Haren…)….

Or you find the stud when he’s 16 years old in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela (Felix, Zambrano, Santana…)….

But you do NOT go out and buy it on the open market.

It just doesn’t work that way.

 

2 Comments

Kazmir was acquired via trade with the Mets for Victor Zambrano.

Of course. Made the edit. Thanks you.

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