Former Oriole Scott Feldman has been signed to a three-year, $30 million contract by the Houston Astros, reports Ken Rosenthal. Feldman was traded from the Cubs to the Orioles last July and had been mentioned numerous times as a target for the Orioles to re-sign, but the Orioles had been reluctant to give him a three-year contract. Once the first wave of free agent pitchers began to sign, it looked increasingly like Feldman would price himself out of the O's market. Turns out, that's just what happened.
Three years and $30 million sounds to me like way too much for a pitcher of Feldman's caliber, but after seeing that starting pitching is going for this offseason I may need to recalibrate my expectations.
The Astros seem like an unlikely landing spot for Feldman. Last season their most expensive player was Bud Norris ($3M), who was traded to the Orioles. The Astros' payroll in 2013 was just over $26M, and Feldman combined with the recently acquired Dexter Fowler will make $17.35M. I guess they have plenty of room to grow.
The big ticket starting pitching free agents are still on the market, namely Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ervin Santana. It's hard to imagine the Orioles going after them, though there have been rumors that they are interested in Jimenez. The rest of the starting pitching list doesn't look too inspiring, though the Orioles could go after possible bargains like Gavin Floyd or Jeff Niemann. The O's were previously linked as possible trade candidates for Jeff Samardzija but that front has been quiet for awhile.
Here is the list of current starting pitching free agents. Who would you like the Orioles to get?