Monday, June 23, 2008

A Cheap Pitcher Worth Trading For

Here's an underrated starting pitcher that I have yet to have heard mentioned as a potential target for the Yankees this trade deadline:

Last season he pitched to a 3.70 ERA over 175 innings in a hitter's ballpark, and in the tough AL East division.

This year, over 102 innings-pitched, he has compiled an impressive 3.51 ERA and 1.21 WHIP and his last start saw him toss 8 solid innings of one-run ball against a powerful Astros lineup - while striking out 8, walking 1 and allowing only 3 hits.

This right handed pitcher possesses a 93-95 mph fastball, a plus curveball in the high 70's as well as a strong changeup to compliment a career 2.61 ERA against the Red Sox.

If you haven't figured it out already, I'm talking about Jeremy Guthrie of the Baltimore Orioles who is still just 29 years old and is making a mere $770,000 this year. Baltimore is by no means the most agreeable trading partner, and there is little reason for them to deal such an inexpensive, effective starter.

The Orioles, however, could not be selling any higher and would likely never get a better deal for Guthrie than right now. A couple years ago Guthrie was a flamed out bust who the Orioles picked up off the Indians scrapheap. A couple years from now he could be back on that heap. Is that possibility strong enough to coerce a trade out of the elusive Camden Yards fortress Angelos so stubbornly protects?

Doubtful, but the Yankees have the type of depth with young starting pitching which could make even Peter Angelos jump. Sabathia he is not and it probably won't happen, but that doesn't mean Guthrie isn't a stopgap worth discussing.

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