Players filed for free agency today, and Major League Baseball has released its list of its 2012 free agents. Clubs have exclusive negotiating rights with their players until Thursday, when they will be able to sign with any team. Here is a look at the 2012 free agent class of starting pitchers.
Players and teams have until Monday night to make decisions regarding their options. Players with either club and/or their own options are in italics.
The obvious standout is C.C. Sabathia, who is expected to opt out of his current deal with the Yankees. Still, New York has been preparing an offer for Sabathia and figures to push hard to keep him in the Big Apple. C.J. Wilson, another player likely to draw a significant amount of interest, is 30 and should command at least a five year deal approaching $100 million.
Beyond that, the pickings are relatively slim. With the emergence of Vance Worley, Roy Oswalt could become available if he and the Phillies’ can’t reach an agreement. Edwin Jackson is only 28 and has been sporadically impressive. Mark Buehrle is about as consistent as they come, but the White Sox have interest in retaining the lefty.
Overall, the 2012 class of starting pitchers is a weak one, providing the top names like Sabathia and Wilson with added leverage on the open market. It is also why people are focusing on Japanese starting pitcher Yu Darvish and whether or not he will make the jump to Major League Baseball.