With right-handed speedster Nathan Eovaldi agreeing to a deal with the Texas Rangers, the best remaining starting pitcher on the free agent market (as classified by Al Bat) is Michael Wacha. In fact, Wacha is the only starter left in the Top 50 free agents.
As things are, the The Baltimore Orioles are the only team known to have reviewed the 31-year-old, who is coming off his best season in a long time for the Red Sox. Wacha made 23 starts for Boston last season, working to a 3.32 ERA in 127 1/3 innings. That mark came with a rather pedestrian 20.2% strikeout rate and a solid 6% walk rate:
Also, his opponent’s .260 BABIP suggests there was a bit of good luck and sure enough, Wacha’s FIP stood at 4.14 for the season. Nonetheless, it was a much better performance than in recent times for Wacha.
From 2020-21, Wacha pitched 158 2/3 innings for the Mets and Rays, with a 5.39 ERA. Those two seasons came with better strikeout rates, but his hardhit percentage was comfortably the highest of his career, as was his home run rate.
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Wacha was once a highly touted prospect in the Cardinals’ system. Selected 19th overall in 2012, Wacha made his major league debut as a 21-year-old in 2013. Over his first three seasons, he pitched 353 innings with a 3.21 ERA and received the 2013 NLCS MVP award for his efforts. in that series against the Dodgers.