On Sunday, the Chicago White Sox made a move to strengthen their starting rotation, signing veteran right-hander Mike Clevinger to a one-year, $12 million contract.
And strangely, that set the precedent for other veteran starting pitchers looking for one-year deals.
Today, the Detroit Tigers inked veteran left-hander Matthew Boyd to a one-year, $10 million deal.
The free agent market for starters is being monitored by several MLB teams, and it appears that with his new contract, Clevinger did his fellow starters a huge favor.
Some agents think that Mike Clevinger's $12m deal set a nice benchmark for veteran starters looking for a one-year deal — and that domino fell in the right way for Matthew Boyd, who gets $10m on a 1-year deal from the Tigers.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 1, 2022
New Precedent Set For Free Agent Starters
These recent moves could change the look of the starting pitching market.
Because Clevinger and Boyd signed very lucrative one-year deals, other starters are likely going to see a bit of a raise in their salaries when they sign with new teams.
This means that pitching is at a premium and that some teams may ultimately back out of the market if they find the asking price too high for certain starters.
Clevinger’s deal essentially played right into Boyd’s hands.
Not even a week later, Boyd got a very similar deal to Clevinger, one that is lucrative and gives him an opportunity to prove himself, as injuries have slowed him down in recent years.
Clevinger had just returned from Tommy John surgery, posting a 4.33 ERA in 2022.
These signings give certain pitchers opportunities to bet on themselves and cash in on high-paying contracts.