The first half of baseball’s 2016 season has shown us that starting pitching can be one of the game’s most profitable investments, both short-term and in the long-run. Whether it’s groomed within the farm system or retained by a trade, having pitchers that can string together outs and go deep into games has proven to last in baseball.
Quality starting pitching travels, and for the majority of the league’s current postseason contenders, they each share at least one or two dominant starters in which they can rely on. The two teams that lead their respected leagues in wins have a potent amount – San Francisco Giants have Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner, whereas the Texas Rangers possess Cole Hamels and Colby Lewis. All of these starters combined have an ERA under 3.30 or better. The next line of division leaders, the Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals, feature three starters – Danny Salazar, Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer – whom are in baseball’s top 10 in strikeouts.
However, not everyone in baseball is fortunate to have such dominate pitching, even the teams who are in the thick of a pennant chase. With the second half of the season nearing, there will be a plethora of front-line starters that will be available as soon as the MLB trade deadline opens up on August 1st.
Sometimes contending teams need that extra rotational arm to fill-in a hole that was once there. After all, the Kansas City Royals won last year’s World Series off of their rental signing of Johnny Cueto. While the quality of top-line starters on the market in 2015 outweighs that of this years, such as Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels and David Price. 2016 does in fact offer up a strong amount of pitchers that can add depth to a staff. So, here are the five best starters available at the deadline that could receive interest from contending ball clubs.