It looks like the pickings are about to get a little bit slimmer in the starting pitching market.
According to MLB.com, the Diamondbacks are on the verge of completing a deal with former Angels and White Sox starter Jon Garland, who would be their third starter behind Brandon Webb and former Cardinals prospect Danny Harren.
Garland turned down a two-year, $14 million contract from Arizona two weeks ago. But, with the market continuing to stagnate and the D-Backs moving on to other targets including Randy Wolf and Braden Looper, it appears that Garland has reconsidered.
Although he had been rumored to be a possible target of the Cardinals, I'm not a huge fan of Garland. He has been fortunate to play for some pretty good teams, so his win total is respectable. But last season hitters battered him to the tune of a .303 batting average and his ERA was an unsettling 4.90.
I would much prefer that the Cardinals bring Braden Looper back if they were going to spent that kind of money. And Looper might come for even less. If the Birds could sign him for two years and $10-$12 million, I would jump on it.
Looper is a capable third or fourth starter, set-up man and closer. And the Cardinals, with a lot of unpredictable youngsters on the roster and with Chris Carpenter's health problems, could use some insurance it all of those areas.