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Should the Twins Gamble on Carlos Rodón or Noah Syndergaard?


For the Minnesota Twins to rebuild its starting rotation, the team may have to take a chance on a pitcher returning from injury. So, should the Twins gamble on Carlos Rodón or Noah Syndergaard?

 

Injuries are certainly part of baseball’s landscape, and pitchers seem more prone to injuries. That being said, teams can find players looking to rebuild value because of their previous injury history. In recent Twins history, Michael Pineda comes to mind as a player the team signed, knowing he would miss an entire season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Flash forward a couple of seasons, and some key free-agent pitchers are looking to return from injury. 

Noah Syndergaard has spent his entire career in the Mets organization, and he has been on the injured list multiple times throughout his career. Back in 2017, he missed time with a torn lateral muscle. In 2018, he had a torn ligament in his finger, and he contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease. In May 2020, Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery, and he had setbacks along the way. He was finally able to make two appearances as a reliever at the end of the 2021 campaign. 

For his career, Syndergaard has posted a 3.32 ERA with 1.16 WHIP and a 119 ERA+. He gets some of the highest velocity of any starting pitcher since the implementation of StatCast. In each of his first three seasons, he averaged over 10 strikeouts per nine innings, and he has struck out more than 150 batters in four different seasons. When healthy, he is among baseball’s best pitchers. 

Carlos Rodón is in a slightly different position than Syndergaard. He was non-tendered last winter by the White Sox after dealing with various injuries throughout his career. Some of those injuries included shoulder surgery in 2017 and Tommy John surgery in 2019. Chicago re-signed him last winter, and he earned his first All-Star selection after a tremendous start to the year. However, shoulder soreness knocked him out of the rotation near the season’s end. 

The 2021 season marked only the third time Rodón has pitched more than 125 innings in a season, and it was his fourth season where he made more than 20 starts. For his career, he has posted a 3.79 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP and a 110 ERA+. His 5.1 WAR from 2021 nearly doubled his career WAR entering last season. Injuries have impacted his entire career, but he has provided value when healthy.

Besides their current health, there are other unknowns with both of these players entering the offseason. MLB and the Player’s Union are working on a new collective bargaining agreement. Under the old CBA, teams can make a qualifying offer to players for a one-year contract worth north of $18 million. Players like Syndergaard or Rodón may be willing to accept a deal like that in hopes that they can receive an even bigger free-agent contract following the 2022 season. 

If Syndergaard wants to sign a multi-year deal this winter, he will likely be getting more than $100 million. In the 2022 Twins Daily Offseason Handbook, he is projected to make $20 million per season. Rodon is projected to earn slightly less per year at $18 million. Syndergaard seems like the safer bet when comparing the two players, but he may also want to sign a one-year deal so he can hit the open market next winter in search of a $200 million contract. 

Which player do you think the Twins are more likely to target, or do you think the Twins should shy away from the risk? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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I would not want to sign either to long term deals at this point.  I would take short 1 to 2 year deals if they have interest in that.  Signing either to long term with potential wasted money for years is something a team like Twins cannot do. 

I would point out to the writer that Noah Syndergaard did not spend his full career in the Mets organization, only all his years in the majors.  He was traded to Mets from Toronto for a former Twin R.A. Dickey after he pitched a cy young season for Mets. 

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I read over and over again that players would not want to play in Minnesota.  These players will play for whoever offers them the most for their service.  If the Twins give either of these players the best offer, they will play here, especially on a one or two year contract to increase their value.  Plus, they get to play a large percentage of their games against the AL Central.  

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I said in the reload, not rebuild article that I am out on Rodon completely. He’s going to get a crazy multi year offer, and my offer will be insulting compared to the others he receives. 

Syndergaard will probably get offers over $100 million and I don’t think one of them will be from the Twins. If he only wants a 1 year deal for a better chance at crazy money, I am not sure why he would leave the Mets. 

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16 minutes ago, rambis26 said:

I read over and over again that players would not want to play in Minnesota.  These players will play for whoever offers them the most for their service.  If the Twins give either of these players the best offer, they will play here, especially on a one or two year contract to increase their value.  Plus, they get to play a large percentage of their games against the AL Central.  

It's hard to play for Minnesota if you accept a qualifying offer with the Mets... Syndergaard made it clear he wants to be with the Mets and the language he has used suggests he not only wants, but would happily accept a qualifying offer. 

If the Mets don't make Syndergaard a qualifying offer, then it's off to the races, but considering they're going to already lose Stroman, they can't afford to lose Syndergaard, too.

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Also, before people get too excited about Syndergaard, he followed Mets team physician orders to not throw a single breaking ball in the 2 games and 2 innings he pitched to finish the year. Syndergaard's velocity was down 3.5mph from his average in 2019 and 5mph from his peak in 2017. Coupled with the multiple setbacks he had, he's a little scary right now from a fans perspective. Obviously, I don't have access to his medical reports and any team signing him will so I'm sure that will go a long way towards clarity on offers he might get.

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6 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

It's hard to play for Minnesota if you accept a qualifying offer with the Mets... Syndergaard made it clear he wants to be with the Mets and the language he has used suggests he not only wants, but would happily accept a qualifying offer. 

If the Mets don't make Syndergaard a qualifying offer, then it's off to the races, but considering they're going to already lose Stroman, they can't afford to lose Syndergaard, too.

I agree that it is unlikely that Syndergaard will move.  If the Mets do make a QO, I would be seriously concerned that there is something else wrong with him.

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51 minutes ago, rambis26 said:

I read over and over again that players would not want to play in Minnesota.  These players will play for whoever offers them the most for their service.  If the Twins give either of these players the best offer, they will play here, especially on a one or two year contract to increase their value.  Plus, they get to play a large percentage of their games against the AL Central.  

This has been proven untrue but even if it was true ... who is most able to pay the highest price?  A team with $300M in revenue like the Twins or a team with $600M like the Yankees or Dodgers or even a team with a mere $100M advantage like the Phillies?  It just astounds me that fans continue to complain that teams with far less revenue get outbid with teams with far more revenue.  If you want to ignore the basic ability to pay.  How is it not apparent that teams with half the revenue need to get twice the production per dollar spent.  It's not as if we don't have examples of success in Tampa and Oakland.  Spending in the same manner as large market teams is a guarantee of failure.  

Of course, any response to this question will not address the question of who is most able to pay.

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Assuming for a moment no QO to either, and/or no draft pick compensation, (which I think the Twins are OK on using the current CBA due to the location of their 1st rounder), I'd probably go with Rodon. If for no other reason than the fact he's already had his TJ and came back to the mound with guns blazing. As of this moment, we just don't know enough about Syndergard's full recovery.

I'm 100% all in, healthy, for a 1yr at $18-20M. But I'm nervous for anything more and think there are good arms, solid arms, available with better health records. And I'm not sure I want both Buxton AND my potential top of the rotation SP to be big injury risks. 

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3 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

This provides revenue and some ratios.  What are you attempting to prove with this graph?  

I'm not trying to prove anything, they're just a couple of sources of info about the finances of baseball that anyone can try to decipher. Maybe the only thing we can conclude is that it's hard to tell how much a team is willing to spend unless you're the one doing the spending.

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47 minutes ago, AceWrigley said:

I'm not trying to prove anything, they're just a couple of sources of info about the finances of baseball that anyone can try to decipher. Maybe the only thing we can conclude is that it's hard to tell how much a team is willing to spend unless you're the one doing the spending.

Sorry, I thought there was a message here.  There is lots of financial info available.  The point is that most people just ignore it or more to the point act as if the revenue disparity is not a big obstacle .   I don't know how much more we need to know to determine the amount of incremental revenue one team has over another which is a where this started.  We know exactly how much teams spend on players and there are even sources that give percentage of payroll data.  The percentage of payroll is not a foreign concept by any means.  I seems some fans just don't subscribe to the theory it matters.  

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10 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Sorry, I thought there was a message here.  There is lots of financial info available.  The point is that most people just ignore it or more to the point act as if the revenue disparity is not a big obstacle .   I don't know how much more we need to know to determine the amount of incremental revenue one team has over another which is a where this started.  We know exactly how much teams spend on players and there are even sources that give percentage of payroll data.  The percentage of payroll is not a foreign concept by any means.  I seems some fans just don't subscribe to the theory it matters.  

Agreed. As fans we want who we want and don't have the time or inclination to figure the math. The kicker to trying to do outside analysis is "real" team value and the fact that some of the owners are ludicrous wealthy and really could spend as much as they wanted to if they wanted to. Kudos to the guys over at MLB Trade Rumors as they really do a good job when they deep dive player and trade values and costs. Also, we don't always know if a team covets certain players that might add a premium to their spending targets.

2021 opening day payrolls: The Dodgers at ≈ $235 mil were six and a half times more than the Pirates at ≈ $36 mil. The Twins at ≈ $121 mil were a hair above the MLB average of ≈ $120 mil. It makes a difference.

Let the rotometrics begin!

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48 minutes ago, AceWrigley said:

Agreed. As fans we want who we want and don't have the time or inclination to figure the math. The kicker to trying to do outside analysis is "real" team value and the fact that some of the owners are ludicrous wealthy and really could spend as much as they wanted to if they wanted to. Kudos to the guys over at MLB Trade Rumors as they really do a good job when they deep dive player and trade values and costs. Also, we don't always know if a team covets certain players that might add a premium to their spending targets.

2021 opening day payrolls: The Dodgers at ≈ $235 mil were six and a half times more than the Pirates at ≈ $36 mil. The Twins at ≈ $121 mil were a hair above the MLB average of ≈ $120 mil. It makes a difference.

Let the rotometrics begin!

Here is the part I don't understand ... what math?  How much math or financial acumen does it take to understand that a team with a hundred or two hundred million of incremental revenue is probably going to outbid the other team.  More importantly, isn't it really obvious that a team that can only spend half as much has to get double the production per dollar spent.  We should want our team to spend wisely for the very simple reason that it's imperative to the success of below average revenue. 

The owners are wildly rich therefore they should break even or take a loss makes me nuts.  This is where just a little financial acumen is required.  If all of the owners took that tact, it would change absolutely nothing in terms of the revenue disparity.  It would actually increase the gap between big and small markets because large markets make a larger profit.  Therefore, small markets would be at an even bigger disadvantage in signing premier FAs.  We would need for the Pohlad's and the Pohlad's only to break-even or take a loss and we would still be at a significant disadvantage financially when compared to top markets .

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You are going to vastly overpay for a pitcher coming of a no-season who will demand a multi-year, or accept the QO from the Mets in hopes of getting an even bigger offer in a season.

 

The other pitches less than Pineda at twice the cost.

 

And the Twins are afraid to overpay the injury-plagued Buxton, or throw outrageous money at Berrios when they had the opportunity.

 

My hopes are far from high that the Twins will be anywhere near contenders in 2022 unless a crop of rookies shine bright. And the White Sox, Guardians totally tank.

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11 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

And the Twins are afraid to overpay the injury-plagued Buxton, or throw outrageous money at Berrios when they had the opportunity.

This does seem like a reason to be cautious when discussing who the Twins might sign as free agents. When one builds a roster for $120-150 million, there appears to be room for a high dollar signing. Yet the past practices of the team has been to seek out "bargains". Often there are reports that the Twins are interested in a player and made an offer, but said player signs with a different team and then we read about various and sundry reasons, etc. We shall see if this habit continues.

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16 hours ago, Thebigalguy said:

Interesting take. Thanks. What about Verlander?

The Astros are going to make Verlander a QO, but it's unknown if Verlander will take it. Houston's owner has said Verlander is still looking for a multi-year deal of some significant length. Verlander has said he's never had a chance to test the free agent market so I think he's interested in doing that. 

Verlander will have 10 days to poke around the league in regard to interest after the QO is made by Houston before Verlander has to decide if he'll accept the offer. 

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