Let’s sign some pitchers! | FanGraphs Baseball

Gary A. Vasquez – USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday marks the 83rd day since the owner began closing. We still have to figure out how long it will last, but no matter how long it is, we’ll likely see a whirlwind of mini-season once the league and players reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. While that kind of thing is fun to cover – the week before closing was exciting frenzy – there’s still quite a lot to do in baseball. So let’s roll up our sleeves, lend a helping hand, and find some new homes for the few remaining free agents. The trick here is that they really have to create a file licks Makes sense to the team that signed them – but just lick.

We gave half a billion fancy dollars to hitters last time, but our imaginations could use some promotion too, so let’s crack!

Clayton Kershaw to Texas Rangers – four years, $120 million

Like Freddy Freeman’s return to Atlanta, Kershaw staying in Dodger blue makes perfect sense, and there are no major obstacles preventing that outcome. But since it’s fun to think of new possibilities rather than the status quo, I bring him back to his grandparents’ (and current) home in Texas. It’s not even an unreasonable destination. Rangers didn’t spend over half a billion dollars this winter to win 75 games, so I can’t imagine they’re leaving the rotation in its current state.

ZiPS Show – Clayton Kershaw

year W The s era J p IP h ER HR BB And therefore era + war
2022 10 7 0 3.49 23 23 129.0 114 50 17 28 140 128 2.9
2023 9 6 0 3.62 21 21 114.3 103 46 16 26 120 124 2.4
2024 9 6 0 3.77 21 20 112.3 104 47 16 26 114 119 2.2
2025 8 6 0 3.78 19 19 104.7 97 44 15th 24 106 118 2.0

ZiPS doesn’t give Kershaw anywhere near the money for the Rangers, but since that’s not legally binding, I don’t feel guilty. Anyway, the Texans are the team this season that broke ZiPS contract expectations, so why not do it again? I’d feel much better in the top three at Kershaw-Jon Gray-Dane Dunning, and while it’s not enough by itself to push the Rangers into the competition, it does get them close to where good luck can put them in the 2022 mix. And if the season is shortened, they have a better chance!

Carlos Rodon in Minnesota Twins – Three Years, $70 Million

The massive commitment of Byron Buxton just months after sending Jose Perios out of town has done little to articulate the long-term goals of one of baseball’s most confusing teams. After a very disappointing 73-89 season, the twins have given almost no indication whether they will double up and retool quickly or focus more on the years ahead on the horizon. It’s a list that seems designed to win neither now nor later.

The annoyance continues when looking at the squad versus the staff. Minnesota’s offensive is still playoff level, and Buxton’s stretch holds one of the highest-grossing offensive players in town for a long time. But promotion was a particular problem for the Twins in 2021, as they finished near the bottom of the league by most metrics. And what’s even more worrying is that they did. With Benefit from two-thirds of the BerrĂ­os season and 100 rounds each from Michael Pineda and Kenta Maeda. The first two are gone, and Maeda, if he returns in 2022 from Tommy John’s surgery, will only get a few roles late in the season.

Faced with the challenge of replacing BerrĂ­os, Pineda and Maeda before even improving the 2021 staff, the twins only signed Dylan Bundy and Danny Columbia. Bundy would probably be a good reclamation project, Coulombe projects are pretty useful/almost average, but that’s not quite enough. ZiPS does Joe Ryan’s project as if Joe Ryan’s mom was the programmer, and she is still The rotation is believed to be down five.

So, let’s improve it a little.

ZiPS Show – Carlos Rodon

year W The s era J p IP h ER HR BB And therefore era + war
2022 9 6 0 3.59 21 21 110.3 91 44 13 40 137 120 2.4
2023 9 6 0 3.66 20 20 103.3 87 42 12 38 124 118 2.1
2024 8 6 0 3.73 20 19 101.3 85 42 12 37 120 115 2.0

Is Rodon a bit of a gambler because of his health history? at all. But the twins didn’t sign off on the easier options, like Kevin Gusman, Robbie Ray or Eduardo Rodriguez. The twins had been in the U Darvish bidding for a few years now, so they definitely showed a willingness to spend money on promotion, and they didn’t put Joe Mauer’s savings back into their payroll. Why keep this squad together if you eliminate them to be the losers in a group of 8-7 games?

Yusei Kikuchi to San Francisco Giants – Three years, $65 million

Kevin Gusman’s loss is a severe blow to the San Francisco turn, and crossing fingers in hopes that Alex Cope throws a 160 round is not a proper follow-up plan. I’m registered now to believe Logan Webb is now a legitimate ace type, but the team’s turnover is short at least one start – perhaps more so due to Cobb and Alex Wood’s injury history, but definitely one major addition that should be in the cards. The shots are kinda weak, but I’m a fan of San Francisco stalking ex-Mariner Kikuchi; Showing it in every park, he’s got the best WAR drop of any of the 30 teams with the Giants. (His weakness lies in the occasional crushable bug, and Oracle Park is a good place to land this type of bomber.)

ZIPS Show – Yusei Kikuchi

year W The s era J p IP h ER HR BB And therefore era + war
2022 9 7 0 4.01 28 28 148.0 148 66 16 51 140 105 2.3
2023 8 7 0 4.07 26 26 135.0 135 61 15th 46 127 104 2.0
2024 8 7 0 4.15 25 25 132.3 134 61 15th 46 123 102 1.8

Not generally appreciated, but Kikuchi has made huge strides in hitting hitters in recent years, as his plate discipline stats and pace have improved since his debut in the league. Tougher left-throwers who have thrown 100 rounds in 2021 are Shane McClanahan, Carlos Rodon, Blake Snell, and… Yossi Kikuchi. ZiPS believes that based on the swing strike rate and first strike ratio, there is still a reasonable upside in strike and walk rates.

Kwang Hyun Kim to Los Angeles Dodgers – 2 years, $36 million

Even if Trevor Power’s status is cleared by the start of the season and the Dodgers decide to welcome him back, the rotation looks a bit shaky at the moment. After Power, Julio Urreas and Walker Buehler, the only bowler featured in an era under four in our depth charts is Dustin May, who appears unlikely to return from Tommy John’s surgery before mid-season. Depending on who Los Angeles has in the house, it won’t take much ordeal for the team to turn into Andre Jackson or Robbie Erlin.

ZIPS Show – Kwang Hyun Kim

year W The s era J p IP h ER HR BB And therefore era + war
2022 10 8 0 4.09 27 25 143.0 141 65 24 39 126 105 2.2
2023 9 7 0 4.25 24 23 127.0 129 60 22 35 109 101 1.7

If there’s anything the Dodgers love, it’s flexibility, and Kim has been used as a starter and relaxed. I also can’t help but think of their long history of wresting performance from casual shooters, and I still think Kim’s underhand, slow and sloppy curve has more potential value than what the cards were able to get him from him.

Ryan Tebera to St. Louis Cardinals – 2 years, $16 million

ZiPS currently has only two serious contenders in the top ten in baseball: the Giants and Cardinals. You really gave something up for the Giants today, so St. Louis got the bump here. Tepera has already been linked to the Cardinals before, by the indefatigable Derrick Goold, so I’m just saving the team some time until spring. Or will it be summer?

Drop ZiPS – Ryan Tebera

year W The s era J p IP h ER HR BB And therefore era + war
2022 1 1 2 3.62 56 0 49.7 40 20 6 19 57 114 0.5
2023 1 1 2 3.68 50 0 44.0 36 18 5 17 51 112 0.4

ZiPS likes Tibera a lot in St. Louis, and I’m still above it overall; I chose him as one of my eight crossovers for the 2021 season. His cutter moves so well that he’s been officially declared a super tough slider, and he’s still nearly unrepeatable. It even works as well against lefties as does its alter, making it virtually indestructible platoon. If Collin McHugh isn’t the best relief pitcher available, I think it’s Tepera; I might get in hot water for this, but I’d rather have it over Kendall Grafman.

Zack Greinke to the Kansas City Royals – 1 year, $10 million

ZIPS Show – Zack Greinke

year W The s era J p IP h ER HR BB And therefore era + war
2022 9 8 0 4.18 28 28 159.3 164 74 21 32 121 109 2.6

It’s been a long road for Grenick, who has gone from top potential player to player who almost left baseball due to angst over super bowler to veteran Evus Toiser. There is something satisfying about him completing the journey where it all began, in a very different place in his life than when he started. His initial departure from Kansas City due to Greinke’s desire to play for a rival team was a bit tricky, but his first return in 2012 was warmly welcomed by both sides. The lineup of royals isn’t particularly young, but the parts that don’t belong to Mike Minor are the same, and who would be a better mentor than Greinke? He’s been through it all before, after all.

Greinke still doesn’t have a ring, but he’s never looked like the type of player who would pin his accomplishments on that kind of symbolism. How many players, when signing for a new team, would openly say that they did it for the money, rather than the usual platitudes about team spirit, the fans, or how great the district schools are? Hey, if his neck isn’t annoying, he might be a solid mid-turn start for the team, too (although I’m not as optimistic as ZiPS). Greinke’s move to Kansas City will be fun, and baseball needs a little more fun right now.

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