Matt Moore – SF
Contract: Signed thru 2017, 6 years/$19.5M (12-17) & 18-19 team option
Remember how I said Clayton Richard isn’t an impact left-hander? Well, Matt Moore has all the makings of that pitcher. But his value is lower than it’s ever been in his career and there are some very troubling signs with him, as well.
In short, he’s a risk.
After putting together a solid stint in Tampa Bay to begin his career, things have trended downward for Moore since joining the San Francisco Giants two years ago. His earned run average has jumped from 3.88 in six years with Tampa to 5.24 in two seasons out west. He’s allowed over 11 hits per nine, as well.
That’s the main difference. Because his strikeouts per nine, walks per nine and, thus, strikeout-to-walk ratio are almost identical to his American League East tenure.
In the Division Series in 2016, he twirled a gem against the Cubs in what turned out to be the deciding game. Moore allowed just one run over eight innings of work in Game Four, but Chicago rallied to advance to their second-straight NLCS appearance.
The southpaw is still relatively young (just turned 28 in June) and his contract features two team options for 2018 and 2019, lending some control to the team. His best years came in Tampa under Maddon and a reunion with him could be just the change of scenery Moore needs.
Throw in Chris Bosio, who’s turned around his share of struggling starting pitchers and this may very well be the best option Chicago has as far as a mid-level arm this summer.
He’s been bad – really bad, actually – since coming to the National League. If the Cubs want a pitcher to post a 5.00+ ERA the rest of the year, they can keep trotting out John Lackey every fifth day.
Moore is tied for the league lead in earned runs – so will a change of scenery be enough to get him back on track for the second half of his career?