December 28: The Giants have officially announced the signing of Rogers. He’ll make $9MM in 2023 followed by $12MM salaries in the next two seasons, reports Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Rogers, 32, will now join his twin brother in the San Francisco bullpen, as right-hander Tyler Rogers is already on the club. The left-handed Taylor was one of the top relievers available in free agency this offseason and certainly one of the best southpaws. He came into the open market on a bit of a down note, as he posted a combined 4.76 ERA between the Padres and Brewers, having switched jerseys as part of the much-maligned Josh Hader trade.
However, it wasn’t quite as bad as that ERA might seem. His 30.7% strikeout rate and 6.9% walk rate were both much better than average and roughly in line with his career marks. His 42.4% ground ball rate was below league average but only by half a percentage point. A 63.5% strand rate may have been a culprit, as that’s roughly 10% below his 74.1% career norm and the 72.6% league average in 2022.
Advanced metrics were much more fond of Rogers in 2022, as he posted a 3.31 FIP, 3.26 xFIP and 2.64 SIERA. Those numbers are also more in line with his pre-2022 form. With the Twins from 2016 to 2021, he made 319 appearances with a 3.15 ERA, 27.9% strikeout rate, 5.9% walk rate and 47.8% ground ball rate, with all of those numbers being a few ticks better than the league average hurler. Though the 4.76 ERA in 2022 didn’t look great, he has a lengthy track record as being a very effective big league reliever and that figure likely wasn’t deserved. MLBTR predicted he could secure a three-year, $30MM deal and he has come out ahead of that.
For the Giants, the signing of Rogers makes plenty of sense given their dearth of reliable southpaw relievers. Prior to this agreement, Scott Alexander and Sam Long were the only lefties projected to be in the bullpen. Alexander has had great results but is frequently injured, not reaching 20 MLB innings since 2018, and will be turning 34 next season. Long has just 40 games in the majors with a 4.55 ERA to show for it. Given those options, it makes plenty of sense that the club has targeted improvements in this area. Rogers should slot in behind closer Camilo Doval for some high-leverage work. For teams still looking for left-handed additions to their bullpen, the top options with Rogers off the board include Andrew Chafin, Matt Moore and Brad Hand.
Assuming an even distribution of the money in $11MM increments, Roster Resource now calculates the club’s payroll to just above $191MM and their competitive balance tax figure to be $208MM. That payroll is well beyond last year’s $155MM Opening Day number, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, but they have gone above $200MM in the past. It’s unknown how much they plan on spending this winter, but they still have lots of room before reaching the $233MM base threshold of the luxury tax.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.