Top 5 Starting Pitchers Available

Johnny Recks/Clutch Points

With this year’s August 2nd trade deadline rapidly approaching, it is only a matter of time before the dominoes start falling, specifically for starting pitchers. The market for starting pitchers is jam-packed, and there is no shortage of talent. Let’s take a look at the top five available this deadline.

5. Frankie Montas-Oakland Athletics/Luis Castillo-Cincinnati Reds

Montas and Castillo are almost identical, which is why they were combined for the fifth spot. Earlier this season we also named them the two likeliest players to be dealt at the deadline. Castillo may have a slight edge with his 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 90 strikeouts compared to Montas’ 3.18 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 109 strikeouts. Whichever way you look at it, two teams are going to get a very solid starting pitcher here, no matter which one they decide to pursue.

4. Jose Urquidy-Houston Astros

According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Houston is open to trading away from their group of controllable starters, specifically Jose Urquidy. The Astros have a plethora of starting pitching options, making Urquidy somewhat expendable for the club. In his fourth season in the bigs, Urquidy has posted a 3.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 77 strikeouts. Houston has been said to be seeking controllable MLB outfielders in return. This makes contending clubs with excess outfielders and a need for pitching come to mind. Something with the Mariners or possibly Blue Jays could work out. Urquidy should be a name to watch before the deadline.

3. Tarik Skubal-Detroit Tigers

In a somewhat surprising development, Ken Rosenthal and Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic reported that the Tigers were open to discussing trades involving 25-year-old Tarik Skubal. In his third season of big league work, Skubal has posted a 3.67 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 113 strikeouts. Skubal has received plenty of praise, and many believe he has the potential to develop into one of the game’s better starting pitchers. Trading Skubal away is an interesting move for a Tigers team that just inked Javier Beaz to a six-year $140 million deal this off-season. Perhaps the team believes shipping Skubal off would give them the final pieces needed to compete. Any team that is able to acquire Skubal should be very excited.

2. Shane Bieber-Cleveland Guardians

After ESPN’s Jeff Passan’s reports on Cleveland apparently seeking to deal away from their big league rotation, several key pieces entered the trade market for starting pitchers. While Cleveland has a few fascinating arms in their rotation, Shane Bieber seems to stand out the most. Despite a fall off from his marvelous 2020 season, Bieber still impresses with his 3.55 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 110 strikeouts. At only 27 years old, Bieber is also still young enough to get back on track. Obviously, he wouldn’t be cheap, but Shane Biber would be an outstanding addition to any team.

1. Pablo Lopez-Miami Marlins

After Jon Heyman of the New York Posts’ tweet suggested that the Marlins were listening to offers on everyone besides Sandy Alcantara, most speculation went to Jazz Chisholm Jr. Since Chisholm won’t return from the IL until sometime around September, and the team has reportedly been seeking to upgrade their offense, a Pablo Lopez trade may make more sense. In his fifth year in the bigs, the 26-year-old righty has posted a 3.03 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, and has racked up 118 strikeouts. There were times this season when Lopez even looked to be one of the best pitchers in the game. Barring some sort of crazy surprise, a Lopez trade would likely bring in the biggest return for a starting pitcher at this year’s deadline.

Honorable Mentions: Blake Snell, Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, Noah Syndergaard, Tyler Mahle.

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