This MLB off-season has been a very active one. We have seen blockbuster deals, record signings, and smaller impact trades. This activity leads to a shift in the landscape of the MLB.
If defense wins championships in football, pitching wins championships in the MLB. Well, sometimes that is the case. In recent years offensive production is what has been winning teams championships. A prime example of this is the 2015 Royals and 2014 Giants. Sure, Madison Bumgarner lead the Giants to the World Series with a historic playoff performance. The thing that doesn’t get recognized is the Giants starting pitching ranked 21st in WAR that season. Nonetheless, when the game comes down to the wire, and all the marbles are on the table, pitching is the best asset at any teams disposal.
With the Winter Meetings coming to close only four days ago, and a lot of off-season remaining, there is still very many moves that could impact this ranking. While there isn’t any notable free agents outside of perhaps Tyson Ross, trade targets like Jose Quintana and Chris Archer can drastically improve a teams starting rotation. With the big name already off the table, Chris Sale, the remaining moves available seem rudimentary at best. Sure, Archer or Quintana could drastically improve a starting rotation, but the teams targeting them likely already have stellar rotations. Ball clubs aren’t looking to build around these guys, instead insert them into an already great system.
Therefore, it may still be too early to rank the best rotations for 2017, however it isn’t absurd to think these rankings remain static. With so little big impact moves remaining, it is hard to see a team jump from pretenders to contenders at this stage in the pitching department. So, with all of that being said, let’s take a look at the best starting rotations in baseball.