Published on December 7th, 2013 | by Josh Chapdelaine0
Scott Feldman Signs with Houston: What Options Remain for New York?
The Houston Astros announced today a three-year, $30M pact with RHP Scott Feldman. Feldman, 31, made 30 starts between the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles in 2013. Feldman’s 3.86 ERA was a career-low for the right-hander, and his 4.06 FIP indicates that his strong performance wasn’t a mirage. The Hawaiian returns to Texas with his new contract, having previously pitched for the Texas Rangers.
Feldman should provide significant value for the Astros in 2014. Phil Hughes received a three-year, $24M commitment from Minnesota earlier this winter, which likely served as a frame of reference for this contact. While Feldman was able to obtain a multi-year commitment, his peripherals suggest he will be more valuable that other free agent starters the Mets have targeted this winter. Bronson Arroyo is seeking a three-year commitment worth upwards of $10M annually, and while he has a track record of consistency, he has both age and declining performance accompanying him.
The club has a loose cap of $10M remaining to spend this offseason, which could grow if Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, or Daniel Murphy and their multi-million dollar commitments are moved.
Recent non-tender RHP Tommy Hanson could remain a possibility for the club. His familiarity with the National League East and strong second-half performance will likely land him a one-year commitment, as previously discussed.
RHP Scott Baker started only three games for the Chicago Cubs in 2013, but looked impressive in his small sample. The 32-year-old is extremely effective commanding the strike zone as evidenced by his career 2.1 BB/9. Citi Field would be a nice fit for Baker, who induces fly balls 45.2% of the time from opposing batters. Contract demands and injury history are a concern with the former Minnesota Twin, who likely won’t command a multi-year contract.
If the Mets are willing to have a competition for their remaining rotation spot, former San Diego Padre RHP Clayton Richard could be an interesting option. The 30-year-old won’t receive much of a commitment due to his 7.01 ERA last year -most likely a minor league contract- but is only one season removed from starting 30 games and contributing 200 innings. If the club wants to add a starting pitcher with potential to match Arroyo’s production at a minimal cost, Richard is an intriguing -but not primary- option to invite to camp.
Assuming the Mets don’t break the glass ceiling and sign primary free agent starting pitchers, which under-the-radar free agents do you want to see the Mets pursue?
Photo Credit: Sports Talk Florida