Mariners Free Agency Target: LH reliever Taylor Rogers
Even though he was right-handed, Erik Swanson was the Mariners go-to guy against lefties. His splitter was nasty and wreaked havoc against them. After the M’s shipped him and Adam Macko off to Toronto in return for Teoscar Hernandez, the Mariners will need someone who can come in and do well against lefties. Could Taylor Rogers be that guy?
Rogers struggled a bit in 2022. That might be being nice about it, though. His ERA+ was only 81. That easily set a new career-worst, as his lowest mark before was 107 back in his rookie season. Every year up until 2022, he had been quite good, with an average ERA+ of 139. That’s not just good, that’s great.
Could Taylor Rogers make the Mariners bullpen better?
Look, if you think Taylor Rogers is going to be the guy from last year, then you probably don’t want him. Having an ERA of 4.76 from a reliever can be really stressful. Personally, it looks like he ran into a bit of bad luck last year. The struggles started after the trade, and he didn’t do well in Milwaukee in those 23 innings. He had an ERA of 5.48 and a FIP of 5.07. That’s not good.
It was a lot better pre-trade when he was still with the Padres. Yeah, he had an ERA of 4.35 in 41.1 innings, but his FIP was just 2.34. I think that’s a lot closer to the guy that Rogers is, and it falls in line with his career numbers. Pre-2022, he had a 3.15 ERA, a 3.00 FIP, and that ERA+ of 139. He also had a K/9 of 10.3 and a WHIP of just 1.15.
It’s those splits that I really want to focus on though. Do you know how I mentioned that Swanson was good against LHB? Well, check out how Rogers did against lefties last year.
- .167/.261/.250. 26 Ks in 69 PA.
He didn’t face them a lot, but I think that number would likely go up a bit if he came to Seattle since he would be the team’s go-to guy when a dangerous lefty was coming up, or the opposition had a stretch of them in their lineup. I think he is more likely to revert to his pre-2022 career numbers, and could definitely help the Mariners.
The Mariners should sign Taylor Rogers to a 2YR/$16M with a 3rd-year mutual option with a $2 buyout or $9M to retain
It ends up being either 2 for 18 or 3 for 27, getting him 9 per year. He becomes the lefty shutdown guy that the Mariners find themselves in need of and strengthens the bullpen with an LHP with a great career. If Rogers is available and interested, then the Mariners should strongly consider bringing him in.