Who Is Your $100 Million Pitcher?

There has been a poll up on Joe Posnanski’s blog for quite some time now asking his Brilliant Readers which pitcher they would rather have for four years if they were an MLB owner with $100 million burning a hole in their pocket – Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, or Yu Darvish. The question arose due to the expectation that Yu Darvish would cost whichever team acquired him a number in this range. In the end, the Rangers ended up shelling out $111 million over six years for the Japanese star.

Obviously, a poll can only display so much information because it does not allow voters to lay out their arguments for and against each pitcher. Fortunately, we here at FanGraphs can provide that opportunity through our comments section. What follows below will be a brief summary of each pitcher, and then hopefully a spirited debate in the comments.

For the record, King Felix is way ahead in the Posnanski voting at 53%, trailed by Kershaw (34%), Strasburg (11%) and Darvish (1%).

Tango has the same poll on his site, and the results are a bit tighter: Hernandez (42.5%), Kershaw (39.7%), Strasburg (15.9%), Darvish (1.9%)

Name Age IP K% BB% FIP- xFIP
Hernandez 26 1388.1 22.0% 7.4% 82 3.31
Kershaw 24 716.1 25.4% 9.5% 77 3.47
Strasburg 23 92.0 32.0% 5.3% 47 2.14
Darvish 25 - - - - -

Felix Hernandez

Felix is the elder of the group at 26, and has by far the most robust Major League resume. He has tossed almost 1,400 innings over his seven year big league career, including at least 233.2 innings in each of the last three seasons. Durability is a very important factor for a pitcher, and Felix has shown no signs of wearing down, despite not having the most athletic body.

He is still popping the mitt in the mid-90’s, and his peripherals have been very stable over the last three seasons, with his K% ranging between 22.2% and 23.0%, and his BB% between 7.0% and 7.3%.

Of the four, Hernandez is likely the safest bet to provide 900 innings over the life of a four year deal, as he is proven that he can handle a heavy workload season after season. At his age, there isn’t as much tantalizing upside as there is with Kershaw or Strasburg, but that is getting pretty nit-picky.

Clayton Kershaw

After striking out at least 25% of the batter’s he faced in both 2009 and 2011, Kershaw made the jump to superstardom last season by finally getting his walk rate under control, down from 13.0% in 2009 to 5.9% in 2011. This was the thirteenth best mark in the National League, and his K/BB of 4.59 ranked third.

Kershaw comes with a bit more risk as he has only shouldered a heavy workload once, and at age 24 we still haven’t seen how is body will react to multiple seasons of 225+ innings. Other than that, his stuff is elite as he pairs a mid-90’s fastball with a slider which last year was the most valuable in baseball at 22.9 runs.

Stephen Strasburg

With Strasburg we begin to enter the wildcard territory. While there is no denying his stuff or his results, the fact is Strasburg has only pitched 92 Major League innings over two seasons due to injury. Also of interest is the fact that he wasn’t quite the same pitcher following Tommy John surgery. In his first season, Strasburg struck out everyone and their dog, fanning 33.6% of the batters that came to the dish against him. Following his injury, the Nationals emphasized more of a pitch to contact strategy, which would allow him to go deeper into games. This decreased his K% to 27.3%, but also limited his walks (2.3%). Unfortunately, we are in dangerously small sample size territory, so these results have to be taken with a grain of salt. It would be an incredible outlier for a pitcher to post a 2.3% walk rate while not allowing a home run over a full season.

One other thing to note on Strasburg is something I have heard a fair amount in baseball. “He has already had his Tommy John surgery.” This implies that the big injury is already out of the way, and the risk of him missing another 12 consecutive months is low, although multiple Tommy John’s isn’t unheard of, and there are many other arm injuries out there.

Yu Darvish

There has been plenty of Darvish analysis here on FanGraphs/RotoGraphs which I will not re-hash. Here are some links:

Yu Darvish 2012 Projections: He Go’n Be Good
Darvish a Cut Above Other Japanese Imports
What Darvish Needs To Do Earn The Money
Yu Darvish Set To Become A Ranger
Project Yu Darvish

So, $100 million dollars, who’s your guy?

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83 Responses to “Who Is Your $100 Million Pitcher?”

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  1. Ryan says:

    Felix. Proven workhorse who can throw a shutout any given night and might get better.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. This is really just an argument between Felix and Kershaw, right?

    +24 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, pretty much. Strasburg is exciting to watch, but I think we’re seeing a shooting star with him right now, and wouldn’t sign him long-term right now.

      That said, since he HAS got his “big injury out of the way”, by the time he’s set for free agency hopefully he has enough innings and no major injuries to support an argument for a big pay-day.

      I’d probably go with Kershaw — younger than Felix, more upside, and a pretty repeatable delivery that doesn’t put a ton of strain on his elbow (at least compared to Strasburg).

      I’ll believe the Darvish hype if he makes it through a full season in that Texas humidity and performs at or above expectations; this is a poor comp skill and age-wise, but watching Koji Uehara wilt like a flower in BALTIMORE’S heat after a month and a half was painful.

      I think the biggest hurdle for Japanese and S. Korean pitching imports, even more than the elevated talent of the batters, is transitioning to the 5-day rotation and the wildly different climates and the ever-shifting time-zones. Basically, conditioning. I think if Yu wants to be fully prepared for summers in Arlington he needs to move there now and start getting his body used to the climate.

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      • Daniel says:

        I don’t understand the more upside comment. I mean,the upside is… What exactly? Better than Felix Hernandez right now? That’s asking an awful lot.

        Felix for me. Easy.

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  3. Derek says:

    I think anyone who picks Strasburg now is an idiot, but four years from now we’ll all call ourselves idiots for not having picked Strasburg.

    +17 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. drewcorb says:

    Felix. It’s really tough to pass up a guy who has pitched 230+ innings 3 consecutive seasons. I’d love to take Kershaw, but as an owner I’d be kicking myself if Kershaw breaks down a little while Felix continues at the steady pace he’s been on for 3 years. Taking Kershaw seems like absorbing greater risk for a slightly greater reward, which I doesn’t make sense to me in this situation.

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  5. Bobby Russon says:

    if you incorporate Darvish’s marketing value this poll would shift a bit.

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    • Max says:

      Um, no. Marketing value is overrated. And even if I agree with the premise, which I don’t, you’re comparing him to two recent Cy Young winners and Stephen Strasburg.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bstar says:

      Darvish’s marketing value is nowhere near Strasburg’s, especially if he comes back and starts dominating.

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  6. jjdouglas says:

    I dont know that I would want to give $100 mil + to any pitcher, only because of the injury risks. However, of these 4 its easily Felix, if I had to choose.

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  7. Josh says:

    Why is having pitched considerably more innings in a career make a pitcher less of an injury risk. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? The more mileage on an arm the “less” it has left. I don’t know the right answer. It just seems that when it suits the argument for a pitcher, a heavy workload is considered a plus. In every other major sport, a previously heavy workload is considered a big injury risk(i.e. running back carries, minutes played in the nba). Anyone care to correct me?

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    • Ronin says:

      I think you have a great point, I did some quick and sloppy research one time to see if top pitchers threw more career innings now days with the 5 man rotation than they did back in the days of 4 man rotations 300+ innings per year. My non-scientific conclusion was that it seems pitchers have X amount of innings in their arm and regardless of how you conserve those innings you really cant increase the total number of innings you are likely to receive. Therefore the more innings a pitcher throws the closer to being done he is. Blatantly logical actually. On the other hand most top pitchers were able to reach 2000-3000 career innings so Felix probably is probably safe in the short term.

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    • Shane Heathers says:

      No, I would not like to correct you, you make a good point. I would say that when you look at their body types and consider they all rely on plus fastballs, Felix looks the best. He has that Clemens, Gibson, Seaver build that has seemed to allow power pitchers to thrive into their late 30’s or beyond. His velocity has remained consistent as well as his periphials. On a side note, I think Verlander vs. King Felix would be an interesting poll.

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      • Eric Cioe says:

        Hard to go wrong with either of them. I think Verlander will be more effective deeper into his career because his of his conditioning and because he’s got the better velocity of the two, but I would feel as comfortable as you can feel with either one of them.

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    • Max says:

      Yes, it is true that a pitcher coming off a season with a heavier workload than usual is a possible injury/regression candidate. But that is not what we are talking about here. What Felix has shown with his multiple dominant-workhorse seasons is that hte is capable of pitching with a heavy workload, and still excelling. On the otehr hand, Strasburg has not shown that ability, and so he is more or a risk.

      All pitchers are not created equal. You can’t just look at two careers and say “this guy has spent 100 less day son the DL than this other guy, so he is an injury risk”.

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  8. Rob Moore says:

    I’d go with Kershaw. He’s shown he can handle a growing workload with no signs of touble, but he hasn’t already logged a lot of miles like Felix has. I expect both of them to be good, but Felix more likely to have some wear and tear issues over the next 4 years. Strasburg is most likely to go Pedro or Maddux on the league the next 4 years, but he’s also never logged a full major league season of work at any level, so who knows.

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  9. cass says:


    Anyone who was at Nats Park on June 8, 2010 will understand.

    I’m not making this as a rational choice, of course, but if I were trying to come up with an argument:

    We have no clue who will get injured. Consistency in the past does not guarantee consistency in the future. King Felix is the obvious choice, of course, because he has demonstrated dominance and durability. But who is to say that he will remain durable into the future? And who is to say Strasburg will definitely have an injury over the next 4 years? It’s a crap shoot.

    Yes, Strasburg has a history of injury now and hasn’t proven his durability yet. But over his partial season in 2010, he was the best starting pitcher in baseball on a rate basis. So why not choose Strasburg?

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  10. CircleChange11 says:

    King Felix

    1. Consistently high performing
    2. Durability
    3. Effective change-up; changing speeds ages well
    4. not reliant on slider; lower injury risk
    5. Very sound, efficient mechanics

    He pitches a lot of innings without throwing an excessive number of pitches, and he does so with pitches that are easy on the arm and with sound, efficient mechanics.

    IMO, King Felix is the safest bet of the bunch. Strasburg has already been injured and will be again and has mechanics similar to Jake Peavey. Kershaw is a very good, efficient, and durable pitcher, but he’s becoming more of a “slider guy” and that’s high risk, high reward. Yu is the one with the most uncertainty.

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      Looking at Felix v. Kershaw …

      Felix started off as a high slider guy and has essentially traded his slider usage for changeup usage (i.e., very smart).

      Kershaw on the other hand threw 25% sliders last year (increasing his slider usage) and unfortunately that has a high probability of following the pattern of Liriano, Josh Johnson, and Wainwright.

      With high % slider guys, it isn’t if they’ll lose a season to elbow injury, but when. For most non-Randy Johnson pitchers it’s just not a pitch that guys can throw consistently without getting hurt, and when they’re throwing it over 20% of the time, well …

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  11. chel says:

    Felix is the most sure thing to produce $100 mil in the next 4 years (something along the lines of 5 WAR per season), he has the highest floor.
    Kershaw and Strasburg are almost in a tie for me, because I believe Strasburg’s ceiling is highest of them all, but Kershaw already has a full season of dominance. I also believe Kershaw to be more injury prone because of slider usage.
    In the end I would go with Felix, even though I believe Strasburg might provide a better surplus.

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  12. Strasburg.
    I’ve seen him in person, and it is beautiful.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I was lucky enough to have video access to every pitch he threw during the “Summer of Strasburg”, sorted by any way you can imagine. Needless to say, I was not the most productive employee the days after he started.

      Not the same as in person, but it’s magical.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Eron says:

    Verlander????? and since he wasn’t include in the mix, I would have to go with Kershaw, I like the upside

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. West says:

    Kershaw, King Felix has potential to balloon like Bartolo Colon.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      You mean the Colon that put up 6 consecutive 4-5 WAR seasons?

      Does Felix really have the potential to balloon like Colon?

      Seriously, two completely different body types, pitching mechanics, and styles. It really is an ignorant thing to say.

      Even if Felix gained 50 pounds how does that affect his pitching? It probably doesn’t.

      Meanwhile Kershaw is becoming slider happy. Talk about not understanding risks.

      Too many FG readers are “selling jeans”. We should know better by now. Yes, Gabe Kapler and Rick Ankiel look great in their uniforms. Yes, CC Sabathia looks like a slob, and yes Prince Fielder is not slim.

      I think having a lack of real athletic/sporting experience really hurts some readers because they don’t understand the nature of athletic talent and abilities, and focus too much on appearance. It ain’t bodybuilding.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Cidron says:

    Not mentioned in the article regarding Felix, was the benefit of Safeco, and a team built for defense (at the almost total disregard for offense) behind him. Not saying that Kershaw doesn’t benefit from some advantages, those that Felix has are pretty extreme. (well, not a total “not mention” but, the article centers far more on the pitchers than the conditions).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Eron says:

    I think V’s got 4 yrs in his arm…but yes he’s a little outside the margins for another long term deal worth that kind of coin. I’ll go with Kershaw, his arm is electric without any benefit of the ballpark. King Felix is incredible, but I just don’t think the arm/shoulder holds up for another 4 years with that kind of workload

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Shane Heathers says:

    Putting Darvish in the conversation is silly. Lets make sure he’s better than Neftali Feliz or for that matter Holland, Harrison, Lewis, or Ogando before comparing him with the King, Koufax Jr, or even stringbean Strasburg.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I think one of the points of the original poll was to show how silly it was for the Rangers to be spending that type of money on Darvish… that’s my thought process anyways

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mike says:

        OK, but it’s not as though the Rangers were given the choice of those 4 players. Felix, Kershaw, and Strasburg were not free agents this off season.

        If Felix or Kershaw were on the open market, I would expect them to get more than the Rangers paid for Darvish. Maybe Strasburg, too – not sure due to the injury/lack of track record.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Sandy Kazmir says:

    You can’t give any of this credence until Matt Moore is added to both polls. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Anon says:

    Halladay and Verlander are two good options.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Eron says:

    I still do not understand the “having to pay just to negotiate with a Japanese player”. If the ultimate goal is to play in the ultimate baseball league, then they shouldjust enter into the FA market just like everyone else….do we pay to have negotiating rights for those playing in WinterLeague ball? Campbell I agrre with you, it’s silly to pay that kind of money for Darvish when his value has yet to be determined.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • indyralph says:

      Believe it or not, it is not the ultimate goal of Japanese professional baseball teams to have their valuable, under contract, human resources leave to play in the ultimate baseball league without compensation.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. bgrosnick says:

    Um, Larry Bernandez? That’s my guy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Eron says:

    Matt Moore is going to be a beast…maybe not this year, but 2013 or 14 and beyond

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. jim says:

    gotta pick kershaw. felix is going to get hurt soon, too many innings on that young arm

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Joe says:

    I know he’s on the older side but what about some Doc love? I cant imagine any of these guys out performing him by an extreme amount over four years, even if he would be about 38 by the end.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bstar says:

      I’d pick Halladay also. Recent evidence of elite pitchers continuing to dominate into their late thirties(Unit, Schilling, Clemens, Maddux up to age 36) suggests it may be a few years ’til Doc hits some sort of wall. After all, he’s coming off two of the three or four best years he’s ever had. Just a four year contract? I’ll take my chances with the (possibly) Inner Circle Hall of Fame pitcher.

      Looking at the last four years, there’s really no comparison between Halladay and King Felix. Halladay has had four great years, Felix two.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. JS says:

    I think Strasburg looks great but so did Mark Prior before his career got bit by the injury bug. IJS

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. MustBunique says:

    John Lackey? (yes I know, he was a bargain at only 82 mil, not 100)

    Strasburg is my guy of these 3, and that’s because I believe his ceiling is higher than the other two guys.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Choo says:

    Moore is intriguing. The guy has an incredibly high effective spin rate on his fastball:

    95.2 mph * 3,135 sr = 298,452 esr.

    To compare, David Price’s 2-seamer is in a league of its own but nowhere near Moore:

    298,139 FF-Matt Moore
    273,812 FT-David Price
    262,732 FT-J.A. Happ
    259,263 FF-Derek Holland
    254,975 FF-Robinson Tejeda
    254,472 FT-Matt Harrison
    253,071 FT-Justin Verlander
    247,930 FT-Blake Wood
    247,623 FF-Michael Kirkman
    247,296 FF-Jake McGee

    (Top 10 ESR, min 200 pitches thrown, 2010-11)

    It will be interesting to see if Moore can maintain this unusually high level of filth for an entire season.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Phantom Stranger says:

    I’d take Kershaw in a whisker over Felix. Kershaw is going to win multiple Cy Youngs over his career. Strausberg obviously has the highest ceiling of any player listed, but can he do it over 200 innings a year without getting injured? That is a huge question with no real good answers at the moment.

    Mark my words, Kershaw is going to the Hall Of Fame one day.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. I’d have to go with Strasberg. He’s the only guy who’s capapable of giving you real bang for the buck at $25 million a year.

    It’s debatable whether the guy with the least innings on his arm has the most downside, but he’s definitely the “King” of upside. When you’ve got a chance on a guy who can put up a season like Pedro’s 1999 12 WIN year, you grab that guy, you don’t fret about missing out on a 6 win pitcher.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Snapper says:

    What about some of the older guys?

    If it’s only four years, I might take Halladay over all of them. CC and Lee are in the consideration set too.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. peachesnnuts says:

    The money makes me go Felix. Teams with finite budgets, aka all of them, have to get returns on big money investments. Felix is the best bet to here to provide 100 mil in value in the next 4 years. It’s roughly the same question, but if they were all available for the league minimum I’d take Strasburg because I believe he has the most upside in then next 4 years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • If you think Felix is the safe bet, you’re paying for past performance. Take a look at his top comps over at BR, a bunch of guys who pitched a lot by the time they were 25. Not a whole bunch of Nolan Ryans on that list.

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      • bstar says:

        Those comps are great, but u have to look at them with a grain of salt. He’s comparable to those guys only because his winning percentage has been so horribly repressed due to playing for the Mariners. Also, he has the highest ERA+ of any of those comps.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Real Neal says:

        We’re talking about health, not about effectiveness. The “Felix” supporters are hanging their hat on his ability to pitch 900 innings over the next four years. That list of pitchers pretty clearly indicates that his ability to do that is not a given, it’s not even likely.

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      • bstar says:

        Ah, got ya. By the way, are the green ‘The Real Neal’ and the black ‘The Real Neal’ the same person, or should I ask both of you?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • bstar says:

        My point was that if Felix had played for the Yankees instead of the Mariners, his comp list very possibly would have some Nolan Ryans on it.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I think Felix’s mechanics, long toss routine, and reliance on a changeup are being undersold.

        Yeah, he’ll probably get hurt at some point, just as every pitcher does. But, you also have to look at [1] what type of injury and [2] how long of a recovery.

        He’s moving AWAY from the slider, the riskiest pitch in baseball. He also has very good mechanics and an ideal frame.

        Roy Halladay has 6 consectuve 200+ IP seasons on the wrong side of 30. Anyone predicting major injury to him over the next few seasons?

        I also think Felix was worked through the ideal buildup: 190, 191, 200, 238, 241, 233. A similar comment could be made of Kershaw.

        It sorta depends on what you want. SS is most likely (IMO) to have some 6-7 WAR seasons followed by another lost season. He’s the most likely to be dominant, but also the most likely to be reinjured. Then again, the guy has a lost season after just pitching 92IP. Has anyone ever undergone TJ surgery after so few pro IP?

        Kershaw is next on that list, IMO, in regards to most likely to be dominant but also most likely to be injured (Lots of slider, high % and high totals). Felix, while being less dominant is more likely to be durable.

        It is possible that SS and CK give similar WAR over 4 years, even with a lost season than Felix and his 5-WAR consistency. If Strasburg/Kershaw goes 7, 6, 0, 6 that’s still darn close to 5, 5, 5, 5. It just depends how much peak you prefer to the possibility of a lost season.

        As a GM, I just don’t want to mess with a lost season.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. Scott says:

    The reality is however, that the prices of these 4 are completely different. If Felix hit free agency right now I think you’d be looking at a 8 year $210 million dollar contract to lock up Felix from his age 25-32 seasons.

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    • the real neal says:

      We’ll never know, of course, but if they were all free agents today, I would bet that Felix got the third AAV highest deal, beating only Darvish. He may beat Strasburg on total value, though.

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  33. kylegocougs says:


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  34. robertobeers says:

    Big Time Timmy Jim.

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  35. Steve Lidd says:

    Choo or anyone – please define what Effective Spin Rate (ESR) is. I can’t find either the acronym or name referenced anywhere in both the FanGraphs glossary or Google Custom Search.

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    • Choo says:

      I brewed it myself with Pitch/FX data in excel. It’s not rocket surgery – just average velocity of a pitch multiplied by its spin rate. I don’t like the word “effective” but I had to put something in the column header.

      Whatever the name, it’s a better indicator of future fastball value than velocity or spin rate alone and it makes a nice “filth” meter for each pitch in the pitch tree. When you include angle data, some interesting clusters will emerge. Like a group of 6 pitchers – 5 frequently injured veterans and 1 healthy young guy – who throw identical power curves. The young guy just signed an extension and is about to reach a point where a couple of his fellow comps started breaking down.

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  36. kick me in the GO NATS says:

    King Felix just does not win enough. Wins are everything so I love Kershaw!

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  37. AA says:

    Kershaw has great mechanics. Felix has decent mechanics, and mechanics that lower shoulder risk. Darvish has good mechanics. Strasburg’s mechanics are awful.

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  38. Socrates says:

    While I get the point of the question being asked, I am not sure that it is relevant. Anyone with ANY understanding of baseball would rank them as Felix, Kershaw, Strasburg, Darvish. That said, Darvish is the only one that was available to teams this offseason.

    What we know…
    – Felix is most likely to contribute 22-23 WAR over the next 4 years.
    – Kershaw is the mostly likely to post a finish between 25+ WAR but is probably less likely than Felix to finish with 22 WAR.
    – Strasburg likely has the highest upside of the group (that seems absurd to say with this group but his talent and performance to date is absurd so…)
    – Darvish appears to be the least likely to earn 22 WAR of the group, but that doesnt mean he wont or cant.

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  39. Roll tide says:

    I’m not quite so high on more. I got to see some of his starts in montgomery, and while he was fantastic, his stuff wasn’t Strasburg level.

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  40. Matt says:

    I know this wasn’t the poll question, but out of all pitchers in MLB I’d probably rank my willingness to sign them to such a contract like so:

    1. Halladay
    2. Lee
    3. Sabathia
    4. Verlander
    5. Haren
    6. Hernandez

    It gets a lot hazier after this. Kershaw and Weaver next, probably.

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  41. Antonio Bananas says:

    the thing with felix is yea, he’s thrown a lot of innings consistently, but he did so at a young age. By the time he’s in his late 20s, he could be like Scott kasmir and have thrown too much. Guys flame out all the time because of stuff like that, Koufax is the obvious prime example of an elite guy. Felix hasn’t been abused like Koufax, but he has thrown A TON of innings.

    On that list, I’m going with Kershaw. Kershaw has thrown a lot of innings (relative to his age) but he’s a lot younger than Felix.

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    • Chris88 says:


      21 – 186
      22 – 144.2
      23 – 206.2
      24 – 152.1
      25 – 147.1


      20 – 191
      21 – 190.1
      22 – 200.2
      23 – 238.2
      24 – 249.2
      25 – 233.2

      Felix has been a consistent workhorse since a young age. Kazmir was an inconsistent injured wreck from a young age. How is he a comparable player to Felix?

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Just a lot of innings in general. maybe Kazmir wasn’t a good comp. the general feeling you get is that a lot of innings at a young age means his arm “ages” quicker. Felix might be going into his age 26 season, but his arm might be more like 30. I’m probably wrong though, I’m not a kinesiologist (spelled wrong I know) so I can’t analyze his motion as well as I should.

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  42. Greg says:

    I know he is not part of the discussion, but if I am looking to spend that kind of money for just 4 years I would spend it on Verlander. 1,000 innings, and he is just entering his pitching prime at age 29.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      Most studies show that 29 is not “just now enterting his pitching prime”. This isn’t the steroid era, guys don’t suddenly get great again in their 30s.

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  43. JaysFan2012 says:

    Side note on Verlander. I am from a small city in Canada, which is very close to Detroit. I would make the drive to see Verlander pitch throughout the year whenever I could. My friend and I left his games last year with a collective, “wow Verlander pitched great, but everything that was put in play (albeit not much) seemed to be saved by an amazing play.” I look at an infield of Cabrera, Peralta, and Fielder, and I shudder. Detroit may out-error their opponent in al 162 games next year. Verlander’s BABIP from last year scares me. With a correction in that respect, and the worst infield in the league, I see Verlander not pitching into the 8th every game this year. I know he is not a GB pitcher, but imagine what this is going to do to Fister and Porcello. Having watched Fister pitch, you cant help but think that he was lucky in Detroit last year. That aint gonna happen with this defence.

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  44. Phils_Goodman says:

    Strasburg, since it’s only 4 years.

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  45. ben says:

    As a Dodger fan, it pains me to say that I would probably take Felix.

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