Ranking the top 5 free agent starting pitchers (Sun. Column)

Some people think that baseball ends along with the World Series but even that is not the case. Not by a long shot. The so-called “end of baseball season” is actually the beginning of the Hot Stove season.

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What is the Hot Stove season? Well I am glad you asked. The term refers to, in a very basic sense, all the off season baseball talk and transactions amongst the fans, players and executives.

The term comes from the picture of fans gathering around a “hot stove” to keep warm while talking about the off season baseball action that begins in November. Oddly enough one of the best definitions on the web came from Urban Dictionary.

“The hot stove is a term used to describe all of the personnel movement in baseball. With all of the free agent signings, trades, hirings, and firings.”

The day after the World Series all eligible players become free agents. The teams then have five days to exercise their options on the player or offer them a qualifying offer.

If no deal is made between the player and their current team within the time period then things get exciting. The player becomes a free agent and can sign with any team in the league.

The bidding wars can become very large for some of the best players in the league. For example, during last off-season Robinson Cano who is arguably the best second baseman in the league decided not to resign with the New York Yankees but signed instead with the Seattle Mariners for 10 years and $240 million.

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So each Wednesday and Sunday for the next few weeks I am going to be bringing you my picks for the top five free agents in the league at each position.

Even players who have options on their contracts won’t necessarily remain with their  current a team. Those players will be marked with an asterisk because until their option is exercised they are, for all intents and purposes, free agents.

With so many really good pitchers on the market this year deciding the top five was not an easy task. I knew my top four right away but ranking them was another story. Finding a fifth pitcher then became a challenge because a lot of guys had good season this year.

Brandon McCarthy, for example, has had great numbers since being traded to the New York Yankees from the Arizona Diamondbacks, however, his past numbers don’t quite fit the the criteria for the list.

Longevity, consistency, post season experience and overall numbers have all been taken into consideration here. Without further ado, let’s get started with the first position, starting pitchers.

To find out how who I chose as the best free agent starters on the market and how I ranked them you’ll have to find out on FanSided via the link below – Enjoy! I had fun writing it! 

Ranking the top 5 free agent starting pitchers

Brought to you by the FanSided Network

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