3) Jack Flaherty
Jack Flaherty is another pitcher who has dealt with injuries and inconsistency throughout his career. He finished fourth in the NL Cy Young award balloting in 2019 after making 33 terrific starts for St. Louis, but made just 35 appearances (32 starts) in the following three seasons combined. That 2019 season is the only one in his seven-year career in which he has made 30 or more starts.
This season Flaherty was fully healthy but didn't pitch like the frontline starter he was in 2019. He wound up putting up a 4.99 ERA in 29 appearances (27 starts) for the Cardinals and Orioles in 144.1 innings pitched. Not what either team envisioned.
The Orioles acquired Flaherty when they desperately needed pitching help. He started out decently for them, but struggled down the stretch and was eventually removed from the rotation entirely, placed in the bullpen for a couple of outings. Flaherty did crack Baltimore's postseason roster as a reliever and allowed one run in two innings of work.
Flaherty has to prove that he can stay healthy and also get closer to being that top starter he showed flashes of being. He at the very least has to be better than he was in 2023. The Angels bringing in the Southern California native to try and prove himself for a year isn't a bad play for a team that needs rotation help.