Five starting pitchers the Phillies could pursue in free agency
By John Town
Marco Estrada fits the Phillies well in terms of the contract he is likely to receive. He is currently playing on a two-year, $29 million contract with the Blue Jays and he should receive something similar this year in free agency. At 34 years old, Estrada isn’t going to receive a long-term deal that other pitchers might this offseason.
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While Estrada financially makes sense, his performance has been shaky. He received his current contract after a 2015 season that saw him collect 3.6 bWAR and place tenth in Cy Young voting. While his WAR total was nearly identical last year, this year his performance has taken a step back. Estrada has a 5.23 ERA in 28 starts this year.
However, digging into Estrada’s numbers a bit more shows his ERA may just be a string of bad luck. His expected and regular fielding-independent pitching is fairly similar to 2015 and opposing hitters have a batting average on balls in play against him of .312.
His BABIP is indentical to his teammate Marcus Stroman, who has a 3.11 ERA and could receive some down-ballot votes for the Cy Young this season.
Estrada’s stats this year could be a fluke. The analytics-inclined Phillies front office may take a chance on him because of this, which could hurt or help them next season.