Player: Carlos Rodon – Starting Pitcher, 29 years old
Team: San Francisco Giants
Contract: Two years / $44 million
Past Career/Last Year Highlights
- #3 overall pick in 2014 MLB Draft
- 11.5 Career WAR
- 5th in Cy Young voting in 2021
- 1x All-Star (2021)
- 13-5, 2.37 ERA and 185 K in 132 2/3 IP in 2021
San Francisco Giants Recent History: 107-55 in 2021, 1st place in NL West
Lost in the NLDS to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 5 games
Well, the first free agency splash post-lockout has occurred with Rodon signing up to join the Giants. Rodon will now pitch in the NL (long viewed as the easier pitching assignment) for the first time in his career. He and the Giants hope his 2021 was the start of something special vs. just a career year.
The Giants lost their ace from last season when Kevin Gausman signed with the Blue Jays. Replacing Gausman might seem like too big an ask of Rodon, but that’s actually not the case. Gausman won 14 games for the Giants, Rodon won 13 for the White Sox. Gausman struck out 10.6 batters per 9 innings, but Rodon struck out 12.6. A pitcher’s ERA is a heavily debated stat, but Rodon had a 2.37 ERA in 2021 compared to Gausman’s 2.87.
When examining each player’s WAR, the results are again similar with Gausman earning 5.2 in 2021 and Rodon earning 5. So how did the Giants sign a seemingly perfect Gausman replacement for 3 years and $66 million less? Especially when Gausman is two years older?!
It all comes down to track record. Gausman pitched at least 179 innings from 2016-2018, and last season he threw nearly 200 innings. Rodon has averaged less than 90 innings pitched in his last four full seasons.
Still, these are the types of moves smart teams make to replace departing free agents. It’s a gamble at $44 million, and if Rodon has a competent 2022 he’ll likely look for another FA deal. But this is a clear win for the Giants as they look to repeat as division champions.
Turf Analysis: Grade = A-
- / 12 months ago
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