With the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings scheduled to begin in one week, the Hot Stove season is expected to hit full swing.
That should bode well for Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, Scott Kazmir, David Price, and the bevy of free-agent starting pitchers still available.
Jordan Zimmermann officially came off the board on Monday, signing a five-year contract with the Detroit Tigers estimated at $110 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are said to have Greinke as their top priority and reportedly discussed signing both the 32 year old and David Price, though that doesn’t appear to be a likelihood.
Los Angeles has also been linked to John Lackey and Zimmermann, and reportedly had trade talks with the Atlanta Braves for Shelby Miller.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Dodgers are among the teams to express interest in Cueto:
cueto also has received interest from dodgers, giants, cubs and red sox. so the numbers are on his side.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 30, 2015
Cueto reportedly turned down a six-year, $120 million contract offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Along with the Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants have been tied to Greinke and Price.
Cueto went a combined 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA, 3.53 FIP and 1.13 WHIP last season with the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals.
He struggled in 13 starts with the Royals, going 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 1.45 WHIP and 56 strikeouts in 80.1 innings. Cueto’s ERA, FIP and WHIP with the Reds were 2.62, 3.20 and 0.93, respectively.
His strikeout per nine innings dropped from 8.3 with the Reds to 6.2 with the Royals. It’s been widely presumed Cueto’s contract won’t match the value of what Greinke and Price receive.
At 29 years old he’s younger than both Greinke and Price, and unlike Greinke, wouldn’t require a signing team to forfeit a draft pick since he wasn’t eligible to be presented with a qualifying offer from the Royals.