Starting pitchers & their potential walk years

As usual, several playoff-hopeful teams are looking to beef up their starting rotations to get over the hump. And as usual, those rotation upgrades are tough to come by.

With starting pitchers being so valuable, few teams are willing to ever trade them away unless: 1) they’re blown away by an offer or 2) they’re not competing and said starter has an expiring contract.

Here, with a little help from Cot’s Contracts, I’ve tried to tackle the latter with a list of the starting pitchers who are potentially in a walk year. From that group, you can pluck out several whom teams may be willing to part ways with.

Without further ado …

Joel Pineiro (Angels, 32, RH)

2011 stats: 3-3, 4.09 ERA, 11 GS

Note: Interesting name, especially if the Angels fall out of it.

Rich Harden (Athletics, 29, RH)

2011 stats: 3.52 ERA, 2 GS in AAA

Note: A shoulder strain has kept him out of the Majors all year, but he could make it back soon for a team that could soon have too many rotation options.

Chris Carpenter (Cardinals, 36, RH)

2011 stats: 2-7, 4.26 ERA, 16 GS

Note: Holds a very interesting $15 club option. But as long as the Cardinals remain among the top-tier teams in the NL Central, they’ll hold him at least through the season.

Adam Wainwright (Cardinals, 29, RH)

2011 stats: null

Note: Has a $9 million club option for 2012 and a $12 million club option for 2013 that the Cardinals now have a choice on — since he won’t finish the year healthy because of Tommy John surgery — and must exercise at once. Obviously, though, he can’t help a contender.

Doug Davis (Cubs, 35, LH)

2011 stats: 1-6, 5.01 ERA, 8 GS

Note: He’s a veteran lefty for a team that will be sellers at the Deadline. But, obviously, he has struggled.

Zach Duke (Diamondbacks, 28, LH)

2011 stats: 1-2, 5.73 ERA, 6 GS

Note: D-backs hold a $5.5 million club option for next year (with a $750,000 buyout).

Jon Garland (Dodgers, 31, RH)

2011 stats: 1-5, 4.33 ERA, 9 GS

Note: Dodgers hold an $8 million club option for next year that will not vest.

Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers, 36, RH)

2011 stats: 5-9, 3.10 ERA, 16 GS

Note: Very good candidate to be dealt if the Dodgers keep slipping.

Erik Bedard (Mariners, 32, LH)

2011 stats: 4-5, 2.93, 14 GS

Note: Great comeback story who Mariners may want to hold on to.

Javier Vazquez (Marlins, 35, RH)

2011 stats: 4-7, 6.37 ERA, 15 GS

Note: I’m not really sure he’d be an upgrade for anyone at this point.

Chris Capuano (Mets, 32, LH)

2011 stats: 6-7, 3.99 ERA, 16 G (14 GS)

Note: Buy-low signing that has worked out for the Mets.

Chris Young (Mets, 31, RH)

2011 stats: 1-0, 1.88 ERA, 4 GS

Note: Was pitching great for the Mets while healthy, but he’s out for the year after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Livan Hernandez (Nationals, 36, RH)

2011 stats: 5-8, 3.81 ERA, 17 GS

Note: Somehow, someway, he keeps getting it done.

Jason Marquis (Nationals, 32, RH)

2011 stats: 7-2, 3.53 ERA, 15 GS

Note: Good comeback story after dreadful 2010 and now a good trade asset, but streaking Nationals may be in a pennant race by late July.

Justin Duchscherer (Orioles, 33, RH)

2011 stats: null

Note: Hip and back issues have kept him off a Major League mound all season.

Aaron Harang (Padres, 33, RH)

2011 stats: 7-2, 3.71 ERA, 13 GS

Note: Veteran having a good season on a one-year deal for a team that won’t compete. But he holds a $5 million mutual option with a $500,000 buyout for next season.

Roy Oswalt (Phillies, 33, RH)

2011 stats: 4-6, 3.79 ERA, 13 GS

Note: Phillies have a $16 million club option on him for next season and Oswalt has a full no-trade clause.

Paul Maholm (Pirates, 29, LH)

2011 stats: 4-8, 3.21 ERA, 16 GS

Note:  Pirates hold a $9.75 million club option for next year, which could exceed $11 million with performance bonuses.

Brandon Webb (Rangers, 31, RH)

2011 stats: 0-2, 9.75 ERA, 4 GS in AAA

Note: Not really sure he can help anybody at any point this year.

C.J. Wilson (Rangers, 30, LH)

2011 stats: 7-3, 3.17 ERA, 16 GS

Note: It’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers approach Wilson nearing free agency for the first time.

Tim Wakefield (Red Sox, 44, RH)

2011 stats: 4-3, 4.54 ERA, 18 G (9 GS)

Note: He has to approve trades via his 10-and-5 rights and — as usually seems to be the case — the title-contending Red Sox need him.

Aaron Cook (Rockies, 32, RH)

2011 stats: 0-3, 5.48 ERA, 4 GS

Note: Holds an $11 million mutual option for next year, which increases to $12 million if he’s traded.

Bruce Chen (Royals, 34, LH)

2011 stats: 4-1, 3.88 ERA, 8 GS

Note: Fresh off the DL, and perhaps in plenty of time to be a valuable trade asset.

Kyle Davies (Royals, 27, RH)

2011 stats: 1-6, 7.46, 9 GS

Note: Has struggled mightily and is currently on the DL with right shoulder inflammation.

Jeff Francis (Royals, 30, LH)

2011 stats: 3-8, 4.76 ERA, 16 GS

Note: Interesting name to watch.

Brad Penny (Tigers, 33, RH)

2011 stats: 5-6, 4.66 ERA, 16 GS

Note: Not a great year, but he’s eating innings for the contending Tigers.

Mark Buehrle (White Sox, 32, LH)

2011 stats: 6-5, 3.73 ERA, 15 GS

Note: Interesting situation here. If the over-budget White Sox fall out of contention in the AL Central, would they entertain the notion of trading one of their franchise faves before he hits free agency? They just may. But Buehrle would have to approve.

Edwin Jackson (White Sox, 27, RH)

2011 stats: 4-6, 4.13 ERA in 15 GS

Note: Young and still has some upside. And Scott Boras is his agent.

Bartolo Colon (Yankees, 38, RH)

2011 stats: 5-3, 3.10 ERA, 13 G (10 GS)

Note: As unfathomable as the following may have seemed at the start of the season, it’s true: Almost every team would love to have Colon on their staff. Good low-risk signing by the Yankees; a team that can’t afford to deal any starters. We’ll see how he is when he returns from a hamstring strain, though.

Freddy Garcia (Yankees, 34, RH)

2011 stats: 6-6, 3.30 ERA, 14 G (13 GS)

Note: Another great low-risk signing by the Yankees that doesn’t figure to pitch anywhere else this season.

CC Sabathia (Yankees, 30, LH)

2011 stats: 10-4, 3.25 ERA, 17 GS

Note: He’s technically signed through 2015, but can opt out of his contract after this season.

— Alden

** What I wrote last week: Bob Melvin has the A’s on the same page; Joey Votto should start the All-Star Game; Jack McKeon’s instincts haven’t aged; are the Twins, A’s and Nats for real?

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