3 free agents the Rockies should target to fill in the rotation

With an unstable and inexperienced rotation, the Rockies should target these 3 arms to add to their pitching staff.
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Rockies have had a pretty quiet offseason so far. They haven't really made many moves, but for a team rebuilding, the offseason is generally pretty mute. The Rockies have said that they will look to add to the rotation, as injuries and a series of one-year deals have left them with a couple of rotation spots. Three of the spots in the rotation are penciled in for Kyle Freeland, Cal Quantrill and Austin Gomber. They have a few other options that will most certainly get some starts, with Ryan Feltner, Peter Lambert, Noah Davis and recent Rule 5 draftee Anthony Molina all competing for innings.

Even with those options, the Rockies are going to need to add some stability. With injuries to German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela that will sideline them for most, if not all, of the 2024 season, the Rockies could stand to add a veteran starting pitcher to eat some innings. As the Rockies saw last year, injuries can dismantle a rotation and make it extremely hard for manager Bud Black to sort of piece together the starting pitching (though the introduction of a new performance lab could help).

With that being said, I think the following three starting pitchers would fit well in Colorado, and could eat some innings for a team lacking experience and stability.

Mike Clevinger

Clevinger is coming off a solid 2023 season, one that saw him compile a 2.2 fWAR. He will most likely be the most expensive arm on my list, but I think it is within reason for the Rockies to consider adding an arm like Clevinger.

The righty dealt with injuries in 2020 and 2021, but was able to bounce back in 2022, throwing 114 innings with a 4.33 ERA with the Padres. Clevinger built on that rebound season by throwing 131.1 innings with a 3.77 ERA for a White Sox team that was an absolute mess. Clevinger improved on both his walk and strikeout rates, showing that a return to his 2018 and 2019 seasons could be on the horizon. Those were back-to-back 4+ win campaigns, according to fWAR.

Clevinger would be the most expensive pitcher on this list, but he has the most upside, as a guy that has posted two 4+ fWAR seasons, as well as four total seasons of 2+ wins by FanGraphs' standards. Clevinger could really help Kyle Freeland anchor the rotation and pave the way for some of the younger arms to develop, while providing some really valuable innings. Spotrac has his estimated market value at four years and just under $55 million, giving him an AAV of $13.6 million. I think this AAV is really close, but I am not sure that you have to commit the fourth year to him. Considering 30-year-old Eduardo Rodriguez just got a 4-year deal, I could see a two- or three-year deal with a similar AAV getting it done.