There aren’t many game-changing starters on the free agent market. Trevor Bauer may be the only top-notch starter available. However, there are a lot of guys like Jake Odorizzi: solid starters who will give a team some quality innings. Odorizzi is 62-56 in his career with a 3.92 ERA in 1042 innings. His 2019 season with the Minnesota Twins was among his best seasons, going 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 159 innings. However, his 2020 left a lot to be desired. Due to three separate IL stints, he was limited to four starts, giving up ten runs in 13 and two-thirds innings. Odorizzi is entering his age 31 season and he could be looking for a one-year deal in order to rebuild his value. Regardless of the length of contract, these are some potential landing spots for Odorizzi.
New York Mets
The New York Mets are in on just about every free agent this year with billionaire owner Steve Cohen at the helm. However, Bauer may have a steep asking price, and the Mets will likely need more than one starter. Outside of Jacob deGrom and rookie David Peterson, New York got nothing out of their rotation in 2020. Noah Syndergaard will likely miss the beginning of next season as he is recovering from Tommy John surgery. The return of Marcus Stroman will certainly help the team, but they could use an extra starter or two, and Odorizzi could be that guy.
Los Angeles Angels
After missing the postseason again despite the expanded field, the Los Angeles Angels need to find some pitching. They found a diamond in the rough in Dylan Bundy, who had a 3.29 ERA and finished ninth inthe Cy Young voting. They also got some solid innings out of Griffin Canning, who had a 3.99 ERA and won a Gold Glove. It appears Shohei Ohtani might not be the pitcher they thought he would be, as he was limited to only one and two-thirds innings due to a forearm strain. In that short span, he gave up seven runs. The Angels need some pitching desperately, so Los Angeles could be among the great landing spots for Odorizzi.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox season came down to Game Three of the Wild Card Series against the Oakland Athletics. The White Sox didn’t have many options that they trusted, and it came back to bite them. They face this same issue going into 2021. Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel are a great top of the rotation, but after them, they have a lot of young, inexperienced arms. Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and Dane Dunning are all solid young starters, but this rotation needs an extra veteran. Odorizzi has the experience this team needs, plus he has been in the AL Central for the past three years and has an idea of how to navigate it.
The Atlanta Braves were a game away from the World Series in 2020, and really with only two legitimate pitchers. Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson carried the staff after the Mike Soroka Achilles injury. They had signed Cole Hamels and Felix Hernandez, but Hamels was hurt all year and Hernandez opted out. Soroka may miss the beginning of the year as he finishes recovering, and it is a possibility that Anderson regresses as he goes through the growing pains that a lot of young starters face. Atlanta has already signed veteran Drew Smyly, but another veteran such as Odorizzi would be a great fit.
San Francisco Giants
One of the biggest surprises of the 2020 season was the San Francisco Giants. They finished just a game below .500 and just missed the postseason. Their offense was among the best in the league, however, their pitching was not. Their 4.64 team ERA was eighth in the NL, good for the middle of the pack. Signing another veteran behind Kevin Gausman and Johnny Cueto could put them over that hump. Jake Odorizzi could be that veteran, he’d be a great fit for the Giants.
Almost the entire league could use a guy like Jake Odorizzi, so there are plenty of possible landing spots. Since he is not a top of the rotation starter, he would fit with any team in the middle or bottom of the rotation. He would give any team some quality starts and veteran experience without having to back up the Brinks truck.
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