Buster Olney's top 10 starting pitchers: Which Big Apple ace is No. 1?

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An agent recently recalled the halcyon days for free-agent relievers, when teams aggressively bid on bullpen pieces -- and it really wasn't so long ago, in this rapidly evolving sport.

There was that winter, the agent fondly remembered, when Tommy Hunter got $18 million from the Phillies. At about the same time, the Rockies invested almost $100 million in Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw and Mike Dunn. A lot of teams seemed to flirt with the conceit.

That was before 2019, however, a year destined to be remembered for the juiced ball conversation -- but should be remembered for the reemergence of the starting pitcher as the game's most coveted asset.