As teams scour the market for bullpen help, Carlos Estévez is emerging as a popular target. Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic wrote earlier this week some teams view the right-hander as a potential closer and suggested he was finding a decent amount of interest. Will Sammon of the Athletic reported yesterday that seven teams had been in contact with his camp.
A career-long member of the Rockies, Estévez hit the open market for the first time this winter. He’s coming off a 3.47 ERA across 57 innings, a solid mark for a pitcher who spent half his games at Coors Field. The native of the Dominican Republic punched out a league average 23% of opponents against a slightly elevated 9.8% walk rate. Those are decent peripherals, although he only generated swinging strikes on a career-low 9% of his offerings.
While Estévez was a decent middle innings option in 2022, the appeal for teams lies more in the belief he could elevate his game outside the sport’s most hitter-friendly environment. He’s one of the league’s hardest throwers, averaging 97.5 MPH on a four-seam fastball that runs into triple digits at its best. He turned to that heater more than 70% of the time this past season, occasionally mixing in a slider against same-handed batters and a changeup against lefties. Each of his secondary offerings had success in their limited usage, and teams could certainly look to scale up how often he throws either pitch to pair with his high-velocity heater.
That kind of arsenal makes Estévez an intriguing target for teams, but his six-year tenure in Denver was mixed. He posted an ERA above 5.00 in three of his first four seasons. A 4.38 mark through 64 outings in 2021 was an improvement over much of his earlier work, but Estévez carried a career 4.85 ERA into this year. He posted a 5.17 ERA through this past season’s first half but was excellent down the stretch, limiting opponents to a .146/.206/.281 line while allowing fewer than two earned runs per nine innings after the All-Star Break.
Estévez has a bit of closing experience, having picked up 11 saves in 2021. Colorado has otherwise used him in setup work, affording him a fair number of high-leverage assignments going back to 2020. He had decent results against hitters from both sides of the plate in 2022, but his 26.5% strikeout rate against right-handed batters was far better than a 19.7% mark against southpaws. Clubs targeting him for a leverage role in the middle innings would presumably prefer to match him up against same-handed hitters when possible.
MLBTR forecasts a three-year, $21MM deal for Estévez, who turns 30 next month. Free agency has been slow to develop thus far, but there were a few early deals for relievers that possibly portend a strong market. The Mets made Edwin Díaz the first nine-figure reliever in league history, inking him to a five-year, $102MM pact shortly before free agency opened. The Padres followed up with a five-year guarantee of their own, retaining Robert Suarez for $46MM in a deal that allows him to opt out after 2025. Not long thereafter, Rafael Montero returned to the Astros on a three-year, $34.5MM contract that topped general expectations.
That series of early deals removed three of the top options from the market. Kenley Jansen and David Robertson are veterans with extensive closing experience, while Seth Lugo, Chris Martin, Adam Ottavino and Trevor May are among the productive setup types available from the right side.
Needs to get a backing band , then he can sign for six mill plus
He was truly great in “2 & a Half Men.”
No, no, no, he was in Young Guns & Young Guns II. Oh wait, that’s Emilio!
Yeah, Carlos was in Navy Seals! Classic 3AM movie.
Sorry Clip I was confusing it with Hot Shots Part Deux! I love him in Wall St though!
Don’t know why, but that classic movie (Hot Shots) with Charlie all swoll promoted a totally different movie & character…. Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder – haha.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Trumbo and Yankee Clipper, two all timers. You guys are like the parking attendants in Key n Peele. Liam Neesey! Keep on keeping on.
Theo, OMG!!!! Hahahahahah I just watched that skit on Youtube because you got me curious…Wow hahahahaa That was incredible hahahaha I am rolling still!!!
Can’t believe people are mentioning Charlie Sheen movies on a baseball forum and Major League didn’t come up. Wild Thing is one of the better characters in baseball movie history.
He was good in Eight Men Out as well.
Whoa…. Mind…. Blown.
Yeah dumb on us, hiflew. Does seem like the rather obvious one to think of.. lol.
Eight Men Out is a great call. Forgot he was in that one.
hiflew, WillyMaysHays(fittingly enough) had brought it up in the post on TB being interested in deGrom yesterday. I didn’t want to throw it out there again so fast.
Thanks Clip you got me on YouTube watching clips of Young Guns 2 now. On that note though, if you wanna see a REALLY good movie, check out “Old Henry.” You’ll like it. It is in the vein of what we are talking about. Gotta trust me on this one! Check out the trailer at least!
It’s really amazing how little I’ve seen or know about the Rockies the last few years. It’s almost as if they play at some distant outpost somewhere.
Dog Days, I know of Chuck Nasty that’s about it! He’s gonna come back hard for another batting title this year!
Blame MLB Network and ESPN and Fox for that. The Rockies get maybe 3 games shown nationally per year. And maybe a couple more if you count the streaming games on Apple and Youtube. It’s not a surprise that most fans don’t know them. I watched 160 out of 162 games in 2022, so I know them very well. Although I couldn’t name much more 5 members of the Rays or Guardians.
Two thumbs up for OLD HENRY
My question: why didn’t they trade him at deadline or at least make a qualifying offer?
You were the response on Jeopardy the other night , Arnold
That is not the Rockies style. Call it short-sightedness. Call it confidence. Call it hubris. But they are convinced that everyone of their “boys” will re-sign with them if they don’t trade them.
Dumpster Divin Theo
La Bamba and Lost Boys and 24 too!
6’6 277lbs what an absolute unit!
Thats 2.5 Altuve’s!
Cashman has entered the room.
Reliever salaries are just flat out cray cray these days.
yeah unless you’re this guy who has been absolutely shithoused in arbitration every step of the way.
It’s a bullpen game now.
The few relievers that pitch well enough to make it to free agency are certainly getting paid now
Pedro Martinez’s Mango Tree
Blah blah blah something something Charlie Sheen…
Jung Like My Daddy
Hes got that tigers blood. Something you can’t teach.
His numbers are not terrible away from Coors Field. I could absolutely see him making an impact playing at sea level. Case in point, look at what Almonte did for LA last year.
Jung Like My Daddy
You make my heart sing
You make everything groovy
“HEYYYY WIIIILD THIIIIING….YOU MAKE MY BUUUUUUTT STIIIIIING! I THINK I LOOOOOATH YOUUUUU!”
Cousin Eddie was one my favorites in the first 2 movies.
Pedro Martinez’s Mango Tree
Don’t think he was in the first, only the second
I think you’re right. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen it. Could’ve sworn he was the heckler and was always doubting the team.
Cmon! Whose next? Martin Sheen?
Lovin your profile pic Hank. It appears you are the owner of fat cats like myself. Lucky us hahaha
Trumbo, I also enjoy a big PUSSYcat : )
I never forget a pussycat.