Hendry has good intentions of not letting money get in the way of signing free agents to make the team better. With so few quality starters available and so many teams looking to upgrade their rotations as well, it is important for Hendry to make sure his money is wisely spent.
For sake of comparison, let's look at the Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, and see how some of these so called pitching solutions available in this year's free agency, stack up.
We'll look behind the W/L record and ERA, and instead look at SLG, BAA and OPS. I believe these categories are a more accurate indication of just how effective a pitcher is.
Zambrano was ranked of all starting pitchers in both leagues as:
#1 with 351SLG, #2 with 208BAA and #7 with 667OPS
#35 with 415SLG, #27 with 257BAA and #48 with 759OPS
#14 with 379SLG, #6 with 238BAA and #12 with 689OPS
#48 with 431SLG, #23 with 254BAA and #50 with 764OPS
#45 with 427SLG, #25 with 256BAA and $54 with 768OPS
#38 with 419SLG, #40 with 262BAA and #47 with 757OPS
#53 with 440SLG, #57 with 277BAA and #59 with 783OPS
#42 with 423SLG, #48 with 271BAA and #27 with 724OPS
#16 with 386SLG, #28 with 258BAA and #23 with 715OPS
#25 with 402SLG, #68 with 296BAA and #37 with 743OPS
That's most of the desirable starters available through free agency or trade this year. There seems to be quite a bit of pitchers that are definetely not a #1 or #2 starter. So in the voice of Phil Conrad from Hill Street Blues; Hey, Hey, Hey, let's be careful out there.
If the Cubs really believe another miracle can take place like it did with last year's St. Louis Catdinals, well I guess it really doesn't matter what starter you pick up, as long as they are healthy. However, the history of World Series winning teams demonstartes that at least two dominant starters are needed. Only one free agent pitcher Jason Schmidt, stands out above everyone else, with the next best starter Jason Jennings, who is only available through a trade. We can only hope Hendry does his homework before he breaks open the piggy bank for the riskiest of all free agent acquisitions, starting pitchers.