Kushner: What Pitcher Would You Choose?

Kushner: What Pitcher Would You Choose?
May 27, 2010, 4:37 pm
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Thursday, May 27, 2010, 12:34 p.m.

By Holden Kushner

Stephen Strasburg will arrive sometime next month. With that in mind, I asked two former major league general managers and a former player the following question: which pitchers would you rather have in Major League Baseball over the next five seasons over Strasburg?

I say five seasons because the Nats will want a pitcher who will be entering his prime when the team is a legitimate contender. I believe they can be a contender in the National League by 2012 given their young pitching, an offense built around Ryan Zimmerman and an ownership group with lots of money (assuming they finally spend their cash).

Heres who my panel said theyd take ahead of Strasburg, who hasnt had the opportunity to prove his worth at the major league level.

Former Mets and Orioles General Manager Jim Duquette: Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jimenez, Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, David Price and John Lester.

Former Nationals and Reds General Manager Jim Bowden: Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jimenez and Felix Hernandez.

Former major league player Bill Ripken: Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke, Ubaldo Jimenez and David Price.

Lincecum was named by all three panelists. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will be 26 next month, and is considered by some to be the best pitcher in the game today.

Jimenez was preferred over Strasburg by all three men. Jimenez is also 26 years of age, and looks to have finally figured out command and control of the strike zone.

Id take Lincecum and Jimenez over Strasburg right now, given the nastiness of their repertoire and the fact that they are just now entering their primes.

Give me Greinke, who is also 26 and a Cy Young winner. Id have to take Felix Hernandez, who is in his sixth major league season and only 24 years old. King Felix is a seasoned veteran with tons of upside.

Lester and Price are young left-handers who are having success in the ever-tough AL East. Their early-career success has me buying on them more than Strasburg as well.

As much of a fan I am of Roy Halladay, hell be 38-years-old in five years and too far past his prime to consider him a better long-term value.

Which current pitchers would you take for the next five years ahead of Stephen Strasburg? Look forward to your comments below.