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Durrett on Jennings

Richard Durrett has a blog entry up advocating going after Jason Jennings.

I've gone back and forth on Jennings...he had a breakout year in 2006, but then struggled in 2007 and was hurt, and really wasn't all that good before 2006.

Initially, I was against going after one of the broken pitchers unless it was a really cheap one year deal, since I wanted to see Kason Gabbard and Edinson Volquez both in the rotation to start the year. But with Volquez out, I've warmed somewhat to the idea of going after someone like Jennings or Colon.

Still...Jennings' numbers are worrisome. Yeah, he's pitched in Coors Field most of his career, but his career road numbers are underwhelming...a 4.48 ERA (in the N.L., no less) in 554 career road innings, 6.17 Ks per 9 and 3.39 walks per 9, with .877 homers per 9 allowed. In his huge 2006 season, he actually had a better ERA at Coors than on the road (3.56 vs. 3.97).

He's a groundball pitcher, although in 2006, he actually had his worst groundball rate of his career (1.18 GB/FB, with his previous worst being 1.52). His success was due to lowering his walks per 9 rate, and by allowing a much lower percentage of homers per flyball allowed (7.0%, versus a career rate of over 11%). Thus, although he was allowing more flyballs in 2006, his home run rate dropped, and I don't know how sustainable that's going to be for him.

Still...all he'd cost is money, and the Rangers are way under budget right now. Jennings supposedly wants a multi-year deal, but I find it hard to believe he'll get that at a price that will satisfy him.

I'm wondering if a 1 year deal, at, say, $5 million guaranteed, with another $5 million in incentives based on innings pitched, and with a $10 million team option for 2009, would be enough to get him signed. I'd probably be on board with that.