This off-season starting pitching hasn’t been as deep as past years. C.J. Wilson was the top prize, following him you have the likes of Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt. Buehrle signed with the Miami Marlins and Edwin Jackson is waiting for a monster contract. The last two are probably looking at 1-2 year deals with more than $9 million a year. There’s a pitcher who’s been just as good the last three seasons and he’s much younger than both of these pitchers.
That pitcher is Gavin Floyd of the Chicago White Sox. Since 2009 Floyd has been almost the exact same pitcher as these two.
One common these three pitchers all share is that fact that they all are good at limiting the amount of walks that they give up. He also does a good job at getting strikeouts, even though he pounds the zone he limits the amount of home runs he gives up. According to Statcorner’s park factors for last year, U.S. Cellular field was 32% easier to hit home runs compared to league average last year. Had it not been as easy to hit home runs, Floyd’s HR/FB would have for sure been lower. Dodger Stadium had a park factor of 104 and Citizens Bank Park had a park factor of 118. Oswalt didn’t pitch all three seasons with the Phillies but it still was a factor. Floyd actually does a slightly better job at getting groundballs than Oswalt. Since they have such similar peripherals, Floyd’s ERA- should drop towards the same level as Oswalt and Kuroda.
Since 2009, Floyd has accumlated 12.4 WAR, averaging out to 4.1 per season. Oswalt has accumlated 10.2 over that period and Kuroda has managed 8.6 WAR. From this you can tell that Floyd has been the more valuable pitcher while being younger as well. Next season Floyd is scheduled to make $7 million dollars, he as a $9.5 million dollar club option for 2013, which is pretty team friendly for a 2.5-4 WAR pitcher.
I’m not sure if the White Sox or rebuilding or not, because of that they may not be willing to deal Floyd. If they were I would imagine they would want a decent haul for him. Prospects aren’t exactly my thing so I can’t say exactly what it would cost.
Kuroda and Oswalt are good pitchers but they are heading towards the tail end of their careers, if teams are looking for an alternative and they don’t want to spend as much as they would by signing one those two than Gavin Floyd may be their best option.