Tim Redding, a 5’11” righty starter for the Washington Nationals the last two seasons, was recently non-tendered. Though he will be 31 in February and is coming off of a 4.95 ERA/4.93 FIP season, several teams are inquiring about his services. Redding has been around since 2001, having played for the Astros, Padres and Yankees prior to the Nationals, as well as serving as a member of the White Sox AAA affiliate for the 2006 season.
His career got off to a rocky start, as in 2001 he posted an ERA of 5.50 and an FIP of 5.10. He managed to strike out over 8.5 batters per nine innings, but posted poor peripherals elsewhere. The following season, the ERA lowered to 5.40 and his FIP dropped over a half-run to 4.45. His K/9 also fell, but to 7.7, still quite good. He allowed way too many baserunners, though, and struggled to strand them. BABIPs of .333 and .321, respectively, can be worked around with solid control and a low walk rate, but Redding possessed neither of these.
In 32 starts during the 2003 season, he pitched 176 innings of 4.12 FIP baseball. His 3.68 ERA even outdid the solid FIP mark. His BB/9 decreased from 4.3 to 3.3; his BABIP stabilized at .300; and his LOB% rose to a slightly above league average rate of 73%. Unfortunately, his K/9 also fell, from 7.7 to 5.9. He did not strikeout as many hitters but he allowed a much lower number of them to reach base, and subsequently appeared more apt at keeping them on the basepaths.
2004 saw a 5.72 ERA/5.30 FIP, and in 2005 these numbers ballooned to 10.57/6.61. In fact, his WHIP in 2005 was a gaudy 1.99. Suffice it to say, he was below replacement level and did not deserve a roster spot on any team. He spent the 2006 season in the minor leagues for the White Sox, compiling decent but not earth-shattering numbers. The first half of the 2007 season was spent in the minors for the Nationals, where his 3.90 FIP earned him a callup.
In 15 starts that season, Redding pitched himself to a 3.64 ERA. His controllable skills told a different story, as a 5.0 K/9 combined with a 4.1 BB/9 and below average home run rate to produce a 5.17 FIP. The vast majority of pitchers are not able to have their ERA outdo FIP consistently for several seasons, and Redding was no exception. This past season, he made 33 starts and posted a 4.95 ERA/4.93 FIP. A good sign emerged, though: his K/9 rose to 5.9 while his BB/9 fell to 3.2, giving Redding his highest K/BB ratio since 2001.
Marcel projects him to pitch 159 innings next season with a 4.77 FIP. He would be responsible for 84 runs should this come to fruition. The replacement starter and reliever combination would surrender 97 runs, deeming Redding +13 runs above replacement. This converts to +1.3 wins, which has a fair market value of $6.5 mil. Tim made just $1 mil in 2008 with the Nationals.
The Rockies, Rangers, Mets, and Orioles have all been linked as aggressive suitors. If they can sign Redding to a deal lesser than or equal to the fair market value listed above, then he will serve as a decent fifth starter. Anything higher and we start to move into the Carlos Silva territory of overpaying fifth starter-types. Redding is not going to light the world on fire, but he could be a decent stopgap in a one-year deal, and could very likely be signed for less than his current $6.5 mil fair market value.