By Jessica Citronberg
Photo courtesy of weei.com
Pitchers are vital members of any team. They start each play and decide the pitch, resulting in anything from a strike to a grand slam. Often times they are the face of the team and are highly revered by fans.
But they are risky. The smallest injury can ruin a multi-million dollar trade. This offseason is showing the usual pitching trades across the country, but some teams are going to benefit more than others.
First up is David Price. The Boston Red Sox offered this lefty pitcher a whopping $217 million seven year contract. Price hooked on the bait and is headed back to the States.
In possibly the most surprising offseason trade thus far, Zack Greinke is headed to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The American League Cy Young winner took a $206 million six-year deal.
Shelby Miller is also headed to Arizona. The former Brave adds to the strong structure the Diamondbacks are clearly trying to build. At 25 years old, Miller might just find his groove with this new group of guys.
Heading from D.C. to Detroit, Jordan Zimmermann is leaving the only MLB team he has ever known. This two-time All-Star didn’t finish the 2015 season like he was projected to based on his 1.07 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) during the 2014 season. Zimmermann needs to step up for the Tigers and to add depth to the critical condition that the Detroit bullpen is in.
The San Francisco Giants stayed busy this offseason, adding two American League pitchers to their team.
Jeff Samardzja has fallen a bit off track and did not produce impressive numbers in his year with the Chicago White Sox. His 4.96 ERA (needs an explanation) was no comparison to the 2.99 ERA in his previous year. Looking to turn a new leaf, this 31-year old needs to show he wants a more permanent position with more consistency.
Johnny Cueto is also on the move to San Francisco. Coming off a 2015 World Series win, this starting pitcher has some competition in Madison Bumgarner. Cueto’s half a season stint with the Royals was short but sweet, proving to be a key to success in game 2 of the World Series against the New York Mets.
“We feel like the environment they’re coming into is a winning ballclub that knows how to win,” said Bobby Evans, the San Francisco Giants General Manager, to USA Today. “Their track record is to pitch deep. Both of them have pitched a ton of innings. And we’re looking for more than just the innings. We’re looking for quality innings, and we think we can get that from both of these guys.”
The end of the offseason does not mean the end of pitcher trades. Both Jeff Samardzja and Johnny Cueto spent their 2015 season at two different clubs. It’s tough to be a pitcher, especially an aging one, when it comes to stability in a city. For the pitchers becoming the newbies on a team, they have a lot to prove if they want to stay.