Teams expressing an interest in Suppan, include the New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals in the American League and the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League.
Suppan has a career record of 106-101 and a 4.60 ERA and has played in both leagues. If history has anything to do with his decision, he's likely to sign with a National League team, where his record of 55-40 and a 4.11 ERA is significantly much better than his record of 51-61 with a 4.96 ERA in the American League.
The Pirates remain interested in Suppan and may have offered him a four-year deal, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report and if it was made, that has to be the best deal on the table.
"The Pirates are still very interested in Suppan and the feelings are mutual," Suppan's agent, Scott Leventhal said. To date, Pittsburgh hasn't made any kind of trade or free-agent acquisition in the offseason.
Suppan posted some of the best numbers of his 12-year career for the Pirates in 2003, going 10-7 with two shutouts and a 3.57 ERA before being traded to Boston along with RHP Brandon Lyon and RHP Anastacio Martinez, in exchange for SS Freddy Sanchez, LHP Mike Gonzalez and cash in July of 2003.
St. Louis signed Suppan as a non-tender free-agent on December 16, 2003.
Reportedly the Pirates have about $13 million remaining from a self-imposed $50 million budget for 2007
Wednesday, the Mets who were in California to meet with Barry Zito also met with Jeff Suppan and his agent. The Mets would win the Suppan sweepstakes if it comes to that. It's unlikely that St. Louis, Milwaukee, Kansas City or Pittsburgh could match the kind of money that New York would be willing to throw at Suppan to him to their rotation.
For now, the Mets' top target clearly remains Zito, and according to industry insiders their eventual signing of him is inevitable.
In the American League, the Kansas City Royals have been reported to have considered offering Suppan somewhere between $11 to $12 per year for him to return to the Royals where Suppan from 1998-2002.
If Suppan is going to command more than $10 million per season for a multi-year deal, the St. Louis Cardinals are not a likely suitor, something that they appear to have already accepted.
At a recent press conference in St. Louis, both Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and General Manager Walt Jocketty agreed that the return of Suppan to St. Louis appears to be remote at best.
If Suppan waits for Barry Zito to sign with the New York Mets as expected, then free-agent inflation and the law of supply and demand will kick into play and the Cardinals will yield to the highest bidder, likely Pittsburgh or Kansas City and St. Louis be forced to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher.
I guess we'll all have to wait on Barry Zito.