Other teams are expressing “heavy interest” in Cleveland Indians right-handed pitcher Fausto Carmona, according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.
Now that Cliff Lee has signed with the Phillies, the best free agent starter left on the market is Carl Pavano. As a result, teams looking for quality pitching are shifting their attentions to the trade market.
Carmona, 27, went 13-14 with a 3.77 ERA in 2010. His 4.11 FIP and 4.39 xFIP suggest that his success was somewhat due to luck, but his ability to induce grounders (his 55.6% GB-rate this year was actually relatively low for him) makes up somewhat for his inability to get miss bats (5.3 K/9 rate), as evidenced by his 3.70 tERA.
It was a bounceback year for Carmona, who went 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA and helped the Indians win the AL Central in 2007 before battling injuries and control problems in 2008-9.
Carmona is guaranteed $6.1 million for 2011, and his contract has club options that could keep him under team control through 2014 for just $28 million.
Zack Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young, is considered the top arm on the trade market, but Morosi says there’s a chance that Carmona may actually be garnering more interest.
Greinke’s 2010 record (10-14) and ERA (4.17) weren’t as good as Carmona’s, but his 7.4 K/9 rate, 3.34 FIP, 3.76 xFIP, and 3.51 tERA were far superior. In addition, Greinke had a lower walk rate (2.3 BB/9 to Carmona’s 3.1) and nearly doubled Carmona’s K/BB ratio (3.3 to 1.7) and WAR (5.2 to 2.7).