Last season there were some incredible starting rotations throughout major league baseball. With the majority of free agents signed (sorry, Lohse!) the top teams have their rotations set, for the most part anyway. In this piece I'm going to list who I think will be the top five rotations this next season. Feel free to debate in the comments, or list your personal top starting rotations.
Number five: Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays made the biggest splash of the off-season when they acquired Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Emilio Bonafacio from the Miami Marlins. They also went and acquired R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets. Just based on those two moves alone they acquired three of their five members of the rotation. The other two will consist of Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.
Dickey will likely lead the staff as their ace, and is coming off a phenomenal season where he struck out nearly 25% of all batters that he faced and walked only 5% of batters. He's going to be entering his age 39 season, but he did have over 6 RA9-Wins, and even if he faces some regression he should still be a very solid pitcher for the Jays.
Josh Johnson is coming off of a season in which he made over 30 starts for the first time since 2009. He quietly posted a 3.40 FIP, while posting above average strikeout and walk rates. Health will be a big cause for concern in 2013 for Johnson, but if he can remain healthy he should be an excellent SP.
Mark Buehrle is about as consistent as they come, and 2012 was no different. He struggled slightly last season, only posting 2.1 fWAR but on the bright-side he pitched over 200 innings for the twelfth time in his career. It'll be interesting to see how he pitches in the AL East, but expect 200+ innings.
When he's healthy, Brandon Mrrow is one of the most exciting pitchers in the game to watch. He can touch the upper 90s, and pile up the strikeouts like it's nothing. Morrow missed some time in 2012, but he did post a 3.65 FIP and 2.4 fWAR in just over 120 IP. He did see a decrease in his strikeout rate, so hopefully he's able to get that back up during the new campaign.
Ricky Romero was fairly subpar in 2012, and while he did make 32 starts it is hard to say how healthy he was. He saw a drop in his velocity and saw his strikeout and walk rates go in the wrong direction. For now it appears he'll be the fifth man in the rotation, but J.A. Happ could see some starts if Romero falters or gets injured.
The Blue Jays have a strong top half of their rotation, but health will be key. If everything works out in their favor they could have the best rotation in the American League, and possibly all of baseball.
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All stats taken from FanGraphs