In our roundup of reactions to the three year, $30 million deal Scott Feldman will reportedly sign with the Astros, the TCB staff was split. There were some who were very high on this deal. There were some who really, really didn't like it. Then, there were some who just nothinged the signing because it didn't "blow (their) skirt up." But, we'll get to that in a bit.
At any rate, here's our staff reactions to the news:
I do not like this deal at all.
Neither do I. Somebody much smarter than I, please help me get more comfortable about this signing. This is the first WFT Luhnow transaction for me.
HATE IT. That's a complete understatement from me as well.
Initial reaction is that it's not a bad deal. I'm not overly excited yet, though. I need to do some digging tonight to see if there's something I can find that might lead me to think he'll improve.
He's been a 2 win pitcher for two years now and 5M per win for a pitcher isn't bad value.
THEY HAVE THEIR OPENING DAY STARTER!
OK, I like this deal for several reasons:
1. Feldman has been consistent around 2.2 WAR since recovering from his knee injury. 2012 was a BABIP-fueled bummer, but his peripherals stayed constant.
2. He's a good control pitcher. K/BB closer to 3 than 2 over the past three seasons.
3. He would have been the best pitcher on the Astros in 2013. He would have been 2nd behind Harrell in 2012.
4. He looks like an innings-muncher.
5. The contract is exceptionally reasonable. During his 5 injury free seasons as a starter his WAR were 0.7, 3.4, 1.3, 2.3, 2.1. In 2012, he put up a 2.3 despite only pitching 121 innings.
This is NOT an exciting move. But I do think it's a good one. They grabbed a good-not-great-but-pretty-darn-good starting pitcher in a free agent market that seems to be nuts this season. We all knew they weren't going to spend a fortune on any of the high-dollar guys, and to me this looks like a guy who will add 3-4 wins over their 2013 total (since Harrell, Humber, and Lyles were worth a combined -0.7 WAR).
At first glance, I am not a big fan of this signing. Feldman has been a solid pitcher over the last few years, but I'm not sure how much more value he adds over our plethora of in-house options for the rotation in the minors (who would be earning league minimum). Realistically he will perform better than most of those options for the next few years, but is that worth $10M/year? This reminds me of the Cubs overpaying for Edwin Jackson, and that hasn't work out very well for them. As an outsider, this feels more like a signing for the sake of making a signing, and those tend to end poorly. Suddenly the Scott Kazmir signing doesn't seem so bad, at least that was a 2 year investment. Scott Feldman is now the highest paid Houston Astro. I really hope I am wrong, and I will readily admit that the powers to be in charge are much smarter than I, so they deserve the benefit of the doubt. But honestly, this is the first transaction that my initial reaction was to cringe. Please be wrong...please be wrong...please be wrong...
Meh. This isn't exciting, but seems like a functional move. The team needs someone to eat innings, and Feldman can do that for a pretty reasonable price tag. He's an upgrade for Houston whether any of us want to admit that or not. This does NOT feel like the FA pick ups in previous seasons - this feels better even though it doesn't necessarily blow my skirt up with excitement.
Honestly, though, it just feels like a standard free agent signing. Not franchise-altering in either direction. I'm pretty meh on it.
If any of the prospects could reasonably be counted on to hit 2 fWAR, then maybe there'd be reason to be upset. But Feldman should hit that mark, and at a reasonable-enough price.
Meh. We got a big leaguer, at least.
I don't think he's blocking anybody. If Cosart/Appel/Oberholtzer/Whoever pitch like aces, then I'm extremely happy with Feldman as a 3rd/4th starter at $10 mil.
If those prospects fall on their faces (very possible), then I'm extremely happy to have a veteran who can stabilize the rotation a bit.
Both Steamer and Oliver project Feldman to be better in FIP than Bud Norris. I think I am OK with this deal. Feldman should age decently also, since he is not a power pitcher.
Yeah, I agree with Terri's reaction---all of what she says, except I don't have a skirt to blow up. I'm not excited about Feldman, but I think it's a good deal. Given the going price for starting pitchers so far, the price is probably what has to be paid to get a reliable veteran starting pitcher to sign with Houston. I much prefer this to the Nolasco and Hughes deals. We have to remember that there is ample evidence that the Astros like control pitchers, and Strom said in his interview that he prefers control and command over everything else.
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