Phillies: Breaking down the 2020 starting pitcher market
Players with Club options
Indians ace Corey Kluber has two club options remaining for the next two years worth $17.5 million and $18 million. Cleveland shedded Trevor Bauer’s price tag, saving the money to cover Kluber’s options plus the reinforcements their offense will need. Expect Kluber to be back in Cleveland next year.
The Atlanta Braves have a $12 million club option for a player who they thought would be their ace, Julio Teheran. After four seasons that included two All-Star selections, Rookie of the Year votes, and a 3.33 ERA, Teheran 4.03 ERA in his last three seasons.
A big plus for Teheran is his durability, making at least 30 starts in his last six seasons. Atlanta can keep Teheran at a comparatively cheap price, making it unlikely he hits the open market.
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Another Cubs pitcher who could hit the open market this offseason hasn’t had the same success since moving across town in 2017. Jose Quintana was a rising star for the White Sox when the Cubs acquiring him for top prospect Eloy Jimenez and three other players.
Quintana’s ERA is almost a half-point higher with the Cubs, creeping over four, than with the White Sox. To his credit he’s been very durable, making at least 32 starts since 2013.
The Cubs owe Quintana $10.5 million next season, and three-fifths of their rotation could be free agents this offseason. For that price it’s likely the Cubs hold onto Quintana, who can be a serviceable back of the rotation starter at worst.
The Pirates shouldn’t have a big decision to make regarding Chris Archer this offseason. He has two club options both worth $8.25 million, a bargain for what Archer has shown he can be. Now, that’s what he has shown at times, but in Pittsburgh, he has struggled a bit, with a 5.01 ERA since coming over from Tampa Bay.
Regardless, the Pirates paid too steep a price (Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, Shane Baz) to let Archer walk after a season.
The Phillies will have a decision to make regarding their newly-acquired starter Jason Vargas. Turning 37 in February, Vargas was solid in his first start for Philadelphia, pitching into the seventh allowing two runs off five hits.
Vargas has an $8 million club option, a hefty price for a 37-year-old fifth starter. Let’s see how Vargas finishes out the 2019 season before coming to a decision on whether or not to exercise that option, but you could go either way knowing what you’ll get.