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Scratch One SP Off the List - Rodriguez to Tigers


SteveLV
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https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/11/tigers-nearing-deal-with-eduardo-rodriguez.html

Depends on what you think of Rodriguez. His stats are rather mediocre, although I know some say they don't tell the entire story. Early reports are he got an opt out after two years. If I'm the Twins I don't do that deal. If he sucks, they're on the hook for $80 million. If he's good, he walks. 

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30 minutes ago, LewFordLives said:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/11/tigers-nearing-deal-with-eduardo-rodriguez.html

Depends on what you think of Rodriguez. His stats are rather mediocre, although I know some say they don't tell the entire story. Early reports are he got an opt out after two years. If I'm the Twins I don't do that deal. If he sucks, they're on the hook for $80 million. If he's good, he walks. 

I don't mind opt-out deals for the team. If the player is good, it sucks to lose him but also, it means you received a great performance value for a few years and aren't on the hook for the decline years. I take that trade-off almost every time, especially in pitchers where decline often comes suddenly and sharply and injury is a persistent concern.

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Two of the three MLBTR writers had picked the Twins to land Rodriguez. (The other one said Tigers, so congrats to them!)

Contract is 5/77 (or up to 5/80 with incentives), an opt-out after year 2, and some kind of no-trade protection.

Here were his predicted contract numbers:
MLBTR: 5/70
Ben Clemens (FanGraphs): 4/80
Fangraphs median crowdsource: 4/72

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2 hours ago, LewFordLives said:

Early reports are he got an opt out after two years. If I'm the Twins I don't do that deal. If he sucks, they're on the hook for $80 million. If he's good, he walks. 

Opt-outs definitely put some extra value on player side of the ledger when evaluating contracts, but it's not so simple as this.

If he's good, the Tigers will have received two good seasons from him, for approximately $30 mil (assuming the yearly salaries are roughly equal*). And they'll no longer be on the hook for his age 31-33 seasons.

It's not enough to make opt-outs "team-friendly" of course, but it tempers the player-friendliness a bit.

*EDIT TO ADD: Now it's been disclosed the contract is back-loaded a little bit, which improves the opt-out outcomes for the team.

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1 hour ago, LewFordLives said:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/11/tigers-nearing-deal-with-eduardo-rodriguez.html

Depends on what you think of Rodriguez. His stats are rather mediocre, although I know some say they don't tell the entire story. Early reports are he got an opt out after two years. If I'm the Twins I don't do that deal. If he sucks, they're on the hook for $80 million. If he's good, he walks. 

The only reason the Tigers were able to sign him at $16MM annually was because of the opt out so the other option to make the signing was to go higher in AAV. Either way, if Rodriguez doesn't pitch well, the Tigers are hosed. If Rodriguez pitches exceptionally well, the Tigers are still free to negotiate an extention before the opt out.

A lot of fans have the idea teams have the ability to dictate to the players what the market will bear in the same way a lot of companies feel like they can offer a product or service at a specific price they want to sell it at. The reality is, good pitching costs whatever it costs. If that's 10 years $10 billion, then it's 10 years and $10 billion.

Would I have done 5 years and $80MM for Rodriguez? 100% yes. While he didn't have the ERA last season, Rodriguez's ERA and FIP have been nicely mirroring each other throughout his career and he's had FIPs of 3.97, 3.65, 3.86 and 3.32 his last 4 years. Extremely similar to Berrios (3.78 FIP 12.7 fWAR) with Rodriguez (3.71 FIP is 28 11.6 fWAR) having a slight edge in FIP, but a little less fWAR because he doesn't eat quite as many innings as Berrios. Would you have extended Berrios for 5 years and $80MM? Of course you would. The Twins fans would be jumping for joy at that during the regular season.

 

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This is a good signing for Detroit. They are a couple of pieces (Correa) from being contenders.

A little disappointed we couldn’t get Rodriguez and we weren’t reported to be in discussions with him lately. Will be interesting to see if we can make any signings before the CBA

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Time to make best offers on mid-level pitchers. Gonna be interesting to see how many sign in the next couple of weeks.

 

The opt out is interesting (and always workable). But one shouldn't have trade restrictions in a contract then, as the opt out is a trade restriction in itself.

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3 minutes ago, miller761 said:

Do the Tigers lose a draft pick because of this signing?

If so how does that affect how we judge this deal?

Under the current CBA rules, the Tigers would lose a pick. I suspect the Tigers will receive revenue sharing, meaning the Tigers would lose their 3rd highest draft pick. Since the Tigers will not qualify for the Competitive Balance Pick under current rules, that means they'd lose their 3rd rounder. If the Tigers were to sign another player with a QO, they'd also lose their 4th rounder.

Considering the strength of the Tigers' system, the status of the team as being in clear build and compete mode, I don't consider the loss of a pick substantial. It was absolutely expected the Tigers were going to do this.

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Rodriguez was in my "second tier" as a signing for the #1 spot to lead the 2022 rotation.

This tells me one of two things:

1] The FO is willing to re-visit the FA market for a 3rd time, having lost out on Darvish and Wheeler, and commit to Stoman or maybe Gausman for a 4-5yr deal at $20M plus for someone to lead the staff and then add via FA or trade to find someone who is just SOLID to fill the #2 spot, hopefully with some upside. Budget still works.

2] They expect to trade milb talent and maybe a player or two off the ML roster to bring in an arm for the potential #1 spot and still sign one of many interesting guys for the #2 spot. Budget still works.

I'm still assuming the #3 spot is Pineda or similar. Both plans work. Losing out on Rodriguez doesn't blow up 2022 for the Twins, even though he could have been a nice signing. Smart move by the Tigers. 

There is still a LOT of opportunity for the Twins, however.

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I’m in the minority too. I think we can find other pitchers, most of whom are in our system now, who can deliver about a 4.75 era for less than 5yrs/$80MM.  These other SPs will be ascending in their careers, and not leave us on the hook for $$$ if they don’t pan out or hit the skids after a year or two. 
 

I understand the fear looking at the rotation right now. But that $16MM/yr for five years can go a lot further on a relative value add basis than signing a pitcher of Rodriguez’s quality and age.

The Twins, IMO, are not going in that direction with the SP staff this year despite what we all write here.  

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Detroit identified what they wanted and could do and then did it. I have made a few lists myself and was influenced by a recent post to add Rodriguez. I wrote his salary down as $17 million. He's gone and it is reasonable to rotate to Jon Gray. Stroman and Gausman seem a little rich, but why not hold out hope for one of these pitchers. Trades are still available but I'm hoping that movement is sooner than later because so many teams are looking for pitchers, it seems like the best will be spoken for by December 1. 

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8 hours ago, bean5302 said:

I'd bet 70% that Detroit signs Verlander at this point. 

You may be right. I'm sure they see what we all see; division with no dominant team that is ripe for the taking in the next 2 or 3 years. A reunion with Verlander plus signing Rodriguez could give them a front end of a rotation. Combine that with their young starters and all the sudden they have a rotation that is capable of contending in the AL Central. Smart move by them. I hope the Twins can do something similar because the opportunity to control that division is there.

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I don't see where all the positivity is for Detroit. Manning has yet to show anything and Mize had OK results, but didn't strike anyone out, which is kind of what you're looking for with a #1 overall pick. It's not like it's a rookie finding his flow either, he wasn't dominant in the high minors either.

As far as their offense goes, they got reasonable production from a lineup that was almost entirely made up of cast off vets from other clubs who've toiled away for years. Most had career years yet none of them did anything that even approached exciting. I mean, the much maligned Miguel Sano would have had the second highest OPS on that team. I can't imagine any of last year's starting nine as the long term answer.

To me Detroit looked like a team that benefited from having two even worse clubs in an already poor division. They look way more than one or two players away from being a contender.

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Ed. Rod and Jon Gray were my top two targets for the Twins.  Gotta hand it to the Tigers FO.  They didn't sit on their hands.  They identified a solid LH SP and went out and got him.  In regards to the opt out:  With the young pitchers the Twins should have coming this is JUST the kind of deal you make.  If the young pitchers develop as hoped/expected you get them up to the Big Club.  If Ed. Rod pitches well, you can fight to keep him or turn the young arms loose.  If Ed. Rod flops, you still have young, controllable pitchers to mitigate the cost.  I just don't think our FO has the guts to make a bold move in FA.  We will need to trade for most of our starting rotation.

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