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Comparing the possible starting pitcher targets for the Milwaukee Brewers

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There’s still plenty of time to make an addition before the season begins.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Pitchers and catchers report to Maryvale Baseball Park this week, marking the beginning of Spring Training and the 2018 Major League Baseball season. But the Milwaukee Brewers aren’t done building their roster for the upcoming season, as it was reported over the weekend that David Stearns and his front office seem “intent” on adding to their starting rotation before the start of the season.

Starting pitching has been discussed throughout offseason as the top priority for the Milwaukee Brewers and the franchise has been connected to a myriad of different free agent and trade targets throughout the winter. The purpose of this post is to put all of those pitchers together for comparison’s sake. There are nearly 20 arms that have been connected to our local nine, whether it be through reported interest or being mentioned or suggested as a possibility. Here they are:

Top-tier free agents:

Jake Arrieta (age 32)

Middle-tier free agents:

Alex Cobb (age 30)
Lance Lynn (age 31)

Buy-low free agents:

Chris Tillman (age 30)
Jeremy Hellickson (age 31)
Andrew Cashner (age 31)

Trade targets with 3 or more years of control:

Chris Archer (age 29)
Michael Fulmer (age 25)
Danny Salazar (age 28)
Mike Clevinger (age 27)
Trevor Bauer (age 27)
Danny Duffy (age 29)
Dan Straily (age 29)
Jharel Cotton (age 26)
Jordan Zimmermann (age 32)

Trade targets with 2 or fewer years of control:

Collin McHugh (age 31)
Jake Odorizzi (age 28)
Patrick Corbin (age 28)

Pitching Targets: Career-to-date

Pitcher G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP fWAR DRA- WARP
Pitcher G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP fWAR DRA- WARP
Chris Archer 162 160 967 9.72 2.94 0.99 0.295 72.6 % 45.7 % 11.9 % 3.63 3.46 18 74 21.7
Alex Cobb 115 115 700 7.33 2.62 0.84 0.287 74.8 % 54.0 % 12.1 % 3.5 3.68 10.5 74 15.8
Michael Fulmer 51 51 323.2 6.84 2.28 0.81 0.271 72.0 % 49.2 % 10.0 % 3.45 3.71 6.6 76 7
Danny Salazar 108 104 587.1 10.51 3.22 1.12 0.31 75.0 % 41.3 % 12.6 % 3.82 3.56 10.9 79 11.7
Jake Arrieta 197 191 1161 8.29 3.12 0.84 0.268 72.0 % 48.1 % 10.9 % 3.57 3.64 21.2 82 21.4
Jake Odorizzi 129 126 705.1 8.2 2.96 1.29 0.269 75.6 % 33.7 % 11.1 % 3.83 4.23 7.4 91 9.8
Jordan Zimmermann 226 225 1359.1 7.1 1.93 0.97 0.299 73.0 % 41.7 % 9.7 % 3.76 3.69 22.7 92 18.3
Lance Lynn 183 161 977.2 8.46 3.4 0.79 0.297 76.5 % 44.3 % 9.1 % 3.38 3.64 14.9 92 12.8
Mike Clevinger 44 31 174.2 9.64 4.59 1.08 0.278 76.7 % 39.0 % 12.4 % 3.76 4.16 2.5 93 2.2
Collin McHugh 117 111 653.2 8.19 2.49 1.03 0.311 73.1 % 41.6 % 10.7 % 4.08 3.76 10.7 94 7.9
Jeremy Hellickson 204 197 1139 6.59 2.73 1.3 0.269 73.7 % 38.8 % 11.7 % 4.12 4.51 9.6 99 11.3
Trevor Bauer 132 123 728.2 8.71 3.68 1.1 0.301 72.7 % 42.7 % 12.0 % 4.36 4.15 8.8 100 6.9
Andrew Cashner 230 137 893 6.99 3.22 0.87 0.29 71.1 % 49.0 % 10.4 % 3.8 3.99 9.2 103 6.6
Danny Duffy 158 130 769.1 7.84 3.18 0.98 0.292 75.7 % 37.3 % 9.1 % 3.73 3.98 10.6 103 6
Patrick Corbin 139 121 745.2 7.86 2.69 1.11 0.312 72.4 % 49.0 % 13.8 % 4.12 3.96 9.6 105 4.7
Dan Straily 119 109 633.1 7.8 3.38 1.44 0.264 74.9 % 34.1 % 11.8 % 4.25 4.72 4.3 108 3.4
Chris Tillman 203 198 1118.1 6.71 3.37 1.27 0.283 72.9 % 39.9 % 11.8 % 4.43 4.66 9.4 115 1.8
Jharel Cotton 29 29 158.1 7.28 3.24 1.82 0.265 66.8 % 37.1 % 14.3 % 4.95 5.32 0.7 142 -2

Pitching Targets: 2017 stats

Pitcher G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP fWAR DRA- WARP
Pitcher G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP fWAR DRA- WARP
Chris Archer 34 34 201 11.15 2.69 1.21 0.325 71.3 % 42.0 % 14.1 % 4.07 3.4 4.6 70 5.1
Michael Fulmer 25 25 164.2 6.23 2.19 0.71 0.273 65.6 % 49.2 % 8.8 % 3.83 3.67 3.5 75 3.7
Danny Salazar 23 19 103 12.67 3.84 1.22 0.343 74.1 % 39.2 % 16.1 % 4.28 3.48 2.2 75 2.3
Collin McHugh 12 12 63.1 8.81 2.84 0.99 0.311 77.7 % 32.8 % 8.6 % 3.55 3.82 1.1 79 1.3
Mike Clevinger 27 21 121.2 10.13 4.44 0.96 0.273 79.7 % 39.5 % 11.9 % 3.11 3.85 2.2 82 2.3
Danny Duffy 24 24 146.1 8 2.52 0.8 0.309 71.3 % 39.5 % 7.6 % 3.81 3.46 3.4 82 2.8
Alex Cobb 29 29 179.1 6.42 2.21 1.1 0.282 75.7 % 47.8 % 13.0 % 3.66 4.16 2.4 86 3
Jake Arrieta 30 30 168.1 8.71 2.94 1.23 0.279 72.8 % 45.1 % 14.0 % 3.53 4.16 2.4 90 2.5
Dan Straily 33 33 181.2 8.42 2.97 1.54 0.288 76.4 % 34.2 % 13.0 % 4.26 4.58 2 95 2.2
Lance Lynn 33 33 186.1 7.39 3.77 1.3 0.244 79.0 % 44.0 % 14.2 % 3.43 4.82 1.4 96 2.1
Trevor Bauer 32 31 176.1 10 3.06 1.28 0.337 76.8 % 46.4 % 16.1 % 4.19 3.88 3.2 97 1.9
Patrick Corbin 33 32 189.2 8.45 2.89 1.23 0.326 74.3 % 50.4 % 15.3 % 4.03 4.08 3 97 2
Jeremy Hellickson 30 30 164 5.27 2.58 1.92 0.246 66.3 % 34.9 % 15.1 % 5.43 5.77 0.2 98 1.7
Jake Odorizzi 28 28 143.1 7.97 3.83 1.88 0.227 72.5 % 30.6 % 15.5 % 4.14 5.43 0.1 100 1.4
Andrew Cashner 28 28 166.2 4.64 3.46 0.81 0.266 74.0 % 48.6 % 8.6 % 3.4 4.61 1.9 102 1.4
Jordan Zimmermann 29 29 160 5.79 2.48 1.63 0.33 67.2 % 33.2 % 12.5 % 6.08 5.18 1.1 134 -1.3
Jharel Cotton 24 24 129 7.33 3.7 1.95 0.279 65.7 % 37.0 % 15.3 % 5.58 5.68 0 151 -2.2
Chris Tillman 24 19 93 6.1 4.94 2.32 0.334 64.2 % 39.5 % 20.0 % 7.84 6.93 -1 169 -2.5

Pitching Targets: 2018 PECOTA projections

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP Strikeouts WARP
Pitcher IP ERA WHIP Strikeouts WARP
Chris Archer 176.1 3.23 1.19 208 3.5
Danny Salazar 132.2 3.14 1.25 165 2.7
Jake Arrieta 147.1 3.69 1.13 150 2.6
Trevor Bauer 165.1 3.69 1.33 169 2.4
Patrick Corbin 168 3.99 1.34 160 1.8
Michael Fulmer 180 4.44 1.33 150 1.8
Danny Duffy 136.2 4.4 1.33 116 1.2
Mike Clevinger 91.1 4.07 1.36 92 0.9
Lance Lynn 121 4.47 1.35 108 0.8
Collin McHugh 73.1 4.16 1.34 67 0.7
Andrew Cashner 130 5.27 1.53 92 0.6
Jake Odorizzi 150 4.45 1.3 140 0.6
Dan Straily 176.2 4.59 1.31 164 0.6
Alex Cobb 128.1 4.92 1.38 100 0.4
Jharel Cotton 115 4.87 1.33 113 0.4
Chris Tillman 106.2 5.73 1.53 79 -0.1
Jeremy Hellickson 131.1 5.82 1.47 96 -0.3
Jordan Zimmerann 189 5.43 1.5 129 -0.4

So, who do you want Slingin’ David Stearns and the Brewers to go out and get?

Statistics courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs