Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are still unsigned. Likewise, J.A. Happ and Wade Miley. So, yes, there are still quality free-agent starting pitchers available even with Patrick Corbin gone to the Nationals pending a physical and Nathan Eovaldi having signed with the Red Sox.That arguably the top two free agents
Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are still unsigned. Likewise, J.A. Happ and Wade Miley. So, yes, there are still quality free-agent starting pitchers available even with Patrick Corbin gone to the Nationals pending a physical and Nathan Eovaldi having signed with the Red Sox.
That arguably the top two free agents disappeared from the market in a stretch of about 72 hours is a reminder that there are more teams seeking rotation help than there is rotation help available.
Let's look at nine options:
1. Dallas Keuchel
He's now the surest thing on the market and may have been that before Corbin and Eovaldi agreed to deals. He's a 30-year-old soft-contact specialist coming off a season in which he made 34 starts and pitched 204 2/3 innings with a 3.6 fWAR, which was 18th among all Major League starters. His 53.7 percent ground-ball rate was tops in the Majors, and he has a 3.31 ERA in 10 postseason appearances.
Potential landing spots: Braves, Phillies, Reds, Yankees, Nationals
2. Charlie Morton
His career was reborn during two seasons with the Astros, during which he harnessed a wicked fastball-curve combination and averaged 10.44 strikeouts per nine innings with a 1.177 WHIP. His 47.4 percent ground-ball rate was the 11th-highest in MLB. However, Morton made 30 starts in his career for the first time in 2018, and because he is 35, a team will have to satisfy itself that he can keep taking the ball. In terms of pure stuff and pitching aptitude, there are few better.
Potential landing spots: Astros, Nationals
3. J.A. Happ
He discovered the magic of the high fastball a few years ago and has ridden it to elite status. His last four seasons have been his best as the 36-year-old lefty averaged 30 starts, 172 innings and 162 strikeouts. He may now be No. 1 on the Yankees' and Phillies' shopping lists.
Potential landing spots: Yankees, Phillies
4. Wade Miley
His eighth season was his best thanks to the cutter he threw regularly for the first time. Groin and oblique injuries limited him to 16 starts, but Miley was critical in helping the Brewers win 96 games after signing a Minor League contract. Having just turned 32, Miley logically could land a multi-year contract with the demand for starting pitching so high.
Potential landing spots: Reds, Cubs
5. Clay Buchholz
When he was healthy last season for the D-backs, he was as good as almost any pitcher in the game, throwing four quality pitches and compiling a 2.01 ERA in 16 starts. But a sore forearm ended his season early, and at 34, Buchholz knows he may have to allow teams to wade through other options before giving him a chance.
Potential landing spots: Reds, Phillies, Athletics
6. Anibal Sanchez
He completely remade his pitching arsenal around a very good cutter and improved changeup to make 24 starts for the Braves and help them return to the postseason. Sanchez's 2.83 ERA was the best since he led the American League for the Tigers in 2013 (2.57). He may not be an early signee, but based on '18, he'll have plenty of options.
Potential landing spots: Brewers, Reds, Phillies, Braves
7. Giovany Gonzalez
He's one season removed from pitching 201 innings with a 2.96 ERA. Gonzalez has a 3.69 ERA in 313 Major League appearances, and after the Brewers acquired him from the Nationals last August, he made five consecutive solid starts. At 33, he won't get a long-term deal, but as the starting pitching market thins out, Gonzalez could certainly command a two-year deal.
Potential landing spots: Reds, A's, Braves
8. Trevor Cahill
He was big part of Oakland's magical season, making 20 starts -- his most since 2013 -- with a 1.19 WHIP. The A's appear to be interested in re-signing him, and considering he had a 1.84 ERA in 11 starts at the Coliseum, the marriage appears to be a good one.
Potential landing spots: A's, Rangers
9. Matt Harvey
He's still only 29 years old and can touch 95 mph regularly with his fastball. Harvey made 28 starts for the Mets and Reds and had stretches when he looked like he was all the way back. He's the prototype pitcher that the A's can take, rework his pitch usage and get a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.
Potential landing spots: A's, Reds
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.