Now that a couple solid starting pitchers are off the free agent market, attention is turning to those with better track records.
The obvious names are Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole, both of whom remain linked to big-market teams such as the New York Yankees.
However, the market for San Francisco Giants World Series hero Madison Bumgarner is picking up.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the St. Louis Cardinals have joined a bevy of teams in the market for the veteran.
“While several clubs have been linked to Bumgarner, including the Twins, Reds, White Sox and Braves, a source told MLB.com that a new potential bidder could be entering the fray: the St. Louis Cardinals,” the report read.
Given the contract Zack Wheeler received from the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, Bumgarner is looking at well north of $100 million in free agency. That could scare some teams off given his regression in recent seasons.
Even then, a contending squad like the Cardinals make sense. Even after retaining Adam Wainwright, the team could use a top-end veteran.
Bumgarner, 30, pitched to a 9-9 record with a 3.90 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 34 starts last season. It represented the worst statistical season of a career that has spanned 11 seasons and includes three World Series titles.