Pitching Free Agents of Note for 2005




For those of us with entire weight of our division on our shoulders, July is not too early to start pondering the 2005 season. Quality pitching it seems is always in short supply and next year’s free agents lack a marquee name, at least as far as having both quality and future go. What follows is list of most of the more prominent players available.


Kirk Rueter- a lefty innings eater but with too high a whip to be very useful. Also getting clobbered by RHBs with ops of 850+. Will likely have an excellent hold; only 1 SB against. 110 IP so far. At age 34 probably not much left in his tank.


Roger Clemens-just keep on trucking. He’s at 124 IP and counting with OppBA of about .210 and an oops of 610; no significant weaknesses apparent. Let’s all hope he does one more year.


Greg Maddux-Still a workhorse at 120 IP but we all know he’s slipping. His oops is at 840 vs LHB and only a mediocre 745 vs RHB.


David Wells-41 year old LHP fourth cousin of Orson still getting it done with K/BB ratio of 5:1. K rate has slipped considerably though. Whip still very respectable. He’s looking to have a steep split of reverse type; with oops of 810 vs LHB and 610 vs RHBs. Has been injured but back pitching again and has accumulated 101 IP so far.


Kenny Rogers-The Gambler still knows how to hold’em: only 2 SBs in 5 attempts. Yeah, he’s a lefty and his whip is comparable to Rueter, so be careful and not bid too much. Looking for a classic split with oops of 790 vs RHB and 660 vs LHBs.


Hideous Nomo-has an ERA of 8.06 pitching half time at Dodger Stadium. He’s 36 years old and his K rate is in freefall. He still averages about 2 SBs allowed per 9 innings. Oops is 945. Doubt there’s another comeback here.


Elmer Dessens- soon to be a member of the Burgess alumni. His stats are tracking okay; the whip is substandard as always but the K/BB rate is okay for him and the HR rate is down, a bonus for whoever signs him. Will be flexible, will start or relieve. 71 IP thus far. Hint: $8 mil for 2 years is too much.


Randy Johnson-he is keeping his usual split; if you can tolerate that 575 ops vs RHBs, he’ll be ok vs LHBs, oops 450. Outstanding but for how much longer? 41 years old this September.


Steve Trachsel-820 oops vs RHB currently, 630 vs LHBs. He’s been hammered hard post All-Star game. He has 123 IP with decent whip. 34 this year. His stats so far are in line with prior years. Has pitched 160+ innings every year since 1995.


Tim Wakefield-38 years young knuckleballer this year. Whip is up and K rate down somewhat. Looking to be a reverse righty as RHB ops is 810 against him; LHBs only 670. 110 IP so far; will 2 relief appearances give him a relief rating? Overall looks to be holding his own.