The Yankees have reportedly just released Chad Gaudin. I would expect this to set off a mad scramble by teams looking to get a serviceable No. 5 starter at a bargain price
Gaudin’s non-guaranteed 2010 contract called for a $2.95 million salary. Frankly, I think that’s a bargain for a No. 5 starter, but no team was willing to claim him off waivers at that price.
Because his contract is not guaranteed, the Yankees will only be on the hook for one-quarter of it, or a little under $750,000.
My guess is that Gaudin ultimately signs for between $1 million and $2 million with whoever is willing to pay the most, and that the signing team will have a bargain.
Last year, Gaudin had a 6-10 record with a 4.64 ERA. The rest of his line was 147.1 IP, 146 hits, 14 HRs and 76 walks allowed and 139 Ks. The walks total is too high, but the rest of the numbers are pretty good.
For his major league career, Gaudin has a 4.50 ERA with a line of 596.1 IP, 621 hits, 63 HRs and 283 walks allowed, and 465 Ks. Not especially good, but he looks a lot like a competent 5th starter.
What I really like about Gaudin going into 2010 is that he’s 27 this year, the age players as a group peak. Further, his 2009 strikeouts-to-IP rate was the best of his career, which is a good sign going into 2010.
There has to be a team for whom Gaudin would be a measurable upgrade at No. 5 starter going into the 2010 season. The Giants look to be one of those teams. However, with Todd Wellemeyer and Kevin Pucetas pitching as well as they have this Spring, I doubt they will make be able to sign Gaudin, who will almost certainly sign with a team that gives him a good shot at starting as soon as the regular season begins.