Analysis

The Under-Represented Middle Class of FA Pitchers

The Under-Represented Middle Class of FA Pitchers

On Tuesday, Paul Maholm signed with the rival Cubs for $4.25M in 2012 with a $6.5M club option in 2013 ($500K buyout).  On the same day, Wei-Yin Chen signed with the Orioles for 3 years at a total cost of around $12M.  These two signings continued an interesting trend this offseason -- the division of pitchers into only two categories.

The first category is the upper salary range pitchers and is very small:  CC Sabathia opted out and then re-upped with the Yankees for 5 years at $122M ($24.4M/yr), C.J. Wilson took a slight discount to play near his home and signed with the Angels for 5 years and $77.5M ($15.5M/yr), and Mark Buehrle signed with the Marlins for 4 years and $58M ($14.5M/yr).

The vast majority of the remaining starting pitchers have signed for between $4M and $6M/year, with most of the contracts only being 1 year and aside from Wei-Yin Chen no contracts longer than 2 years.  This trend was set early in the year, with Bruce Chen re-signing with the Royals for 2 yr/$9M...

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