Everybody needs starting pitching. Teams begin the season with five starters and use double that amount by the end of the year. Almost 250 starters — more than eight per team — made at least five starts in 2017, pitching in a rotation for at least a month. There really isn’t any team that couldn’t use more starting pitching. However, there are certain teams in greater need of starting pitching, for whom filling that need could make them contenders or favorites for a playoff spot.
With Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, there is a top-level tier of pitching available, but there is some depth as well. Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Jhoulys Chacin form a middle tier, with Jaime Garcia, CC Sabathia, Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, Tyler Chatwood, Brett Anderson, John Lackey and Jeremy Hellickson rounding out a mix of veterans on the decline as well as some upside plays. There might not be a Chris Sale available on the trade market this offseason, unless Tampa Bay makes Chris Archer available, but Gerrit Cole and Jake Odorizzi are a few of the more intriguing names who could be on the move.
As for who needs pitching the most, let’s start with one of the more surprising finalists for Shohei Ohtani.