And Irvin had a better fWAR in 2021. And Gibson was better than both of them. Maybe I'm nitpicking but I don't see it with Taillon. Exactly 100 ERA+ two years straight, after his second Tommy John. Peripherals are fine, nothing great. He's been better than Irvin but at the cost I'm fine with Irvin. Cost matters, you should be improving the team elsewhere with that savings. And Gibson's 2021 is better than any year Taillon had since his second TJ. Taillon's floor is what you're paying for I guess, but he'd be the same complaint, you are just locking in a mid rotation at best guy.
Walker maybe has more upside IMO, but just a year ago he had a worse year than either of Irvin's full years. Bassitt has been more consistently better and was the clear choice to go after. Anyone else in this tier has plenty of warts. Like Eovaldi could be better than all of them but can't be trusted for 150 innings. I would have preferred Bassitt greatly or Walker mildly over these guys, anyone else is kinda whatever your preference is. I'm just talking about this second tier, with the caveat that I would have wanted someone from the top tier.