Mets Should Avoid Carlos Rodón
This offseason, the New York Mets need to add starting pitching. With their likely expensive budget, they can afford to get the best of the best.
Certainly, Carlos Rodón qualifies. Even with that said, he’s a pitcher they should avoid this offseason.
Give the San Francisco Giants credit, they’ve become exceptional at identifying under valued pitchers and making them ace level pitchers. Two years ago, it was Kevin Gausman, and this past year, it was Rodón.
Gausman backed it up showing what they do with pitchers isn’t temporary or limited to what the Giants do. Still, Rodón has his limitations.
First, the good. Rodón led the league with a 2.25 FIP and a 12.0 K/9. He finished sixth in Cy Younh voting and probably deserved better.
Beyond that, there are a number of red flags and issues related to Rodón. Primary of them is his lack of durability. That’s especially of concern for a Mets organization which promises to be thinner from a starting pitching depth perspective next year.
This past year was the only season in Rodón’s eight year career where he’s made 30 starts. Notable there is he’s never thrown 180 innings in a season.
In his career, Rodón has averaged 5.2 innings per start. Last season, where the Giants were able to keep him healthy, he averaged 5.2 innings. That’s not bad at all, but for the sake of comparison, Jacob deGrom averages 6.1 innings per start.
That’s important for two reasons. First and foremost, the Mets are rebuilding their entire bullpen, and they want as many innings from their starters as possible. That’s how their built.
Another reason is it’s likely deGrom or Rodón. Taking the full picture, it’s difficult to justify Rodón over deGrom if you’re the Mets (or any team).
With deGrom, you get the much more dominant starter who also pitches more innings. While Mets fans will lament deGrom’s recent health issues, historically, he’s more durable than Rodón.
If the Mets only have money for one, it should inarguably go to deGrom. If they have money for both, they should still tread lightly.
Rodón has a questionable injury history. We don’t know how he’ll handle New York. While he might have the highest upside, he could be the biggest potential bust with his history.
If the deal makes sense, the Mets should pounce like the Giants did. If it’s a bidding war, the Mets have plenty of other routes to go and can probably spread the money across multiple dependable starters like Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker.
There’s a scenario of two where Rodón makes sense. However, the way this offseason appears headed, they should be looking in another direction.