Yesterday, the MLB waiver wire was flooded with talent. The Los Angeles Angels waived half of their team, it seems like. The Mariners, along with every playoff hopeful team, will surely be claiming their fair share of players to try and round out their rosters before the playoffs start. While the trade deadline has come and passed, teams can still place players on waivers. Those players are then made available to any team in the league, but the team who claims that player must take on the rest of that players contract. The waiver order is in reverse order of the standings, meaning the Athletics have the 1st claim, while the Braves have the last claim.
Players like Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Matt Moore, Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk were all placed on waivers by the Angels. Just 4 weeks after selling the farm to go for their first playoff appearance since 2014, the Angels are giving up on the 2023 season. But they are not the only team giving up on 2023. The New York Yankees placed OF Harrison Bader on waivers, as did the Chicago White Sox with RHP Mike Clevinger. The Mariners need pitching depth going forward to rest the young guys like Bryan Woo and Bryce Miller. I've got 2 pitchers the Mariners should at least kick the tires on, even if those names are not popular.
Mike Clevinger, RHP (White Sox) - 6-6, 3.32 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 97.2 innings
Mike Clevinger has been a solid pitcher in his MLB career. His ERA over his career is 3.38, pretty close to his ERA this season of 3.32. During the offseason, He signed a 1 year deal with the Chicago White Sox for $8,000,000, with a mutual option of $12,000,000 in 2024. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he is still owed $1.42 million this season. He also has a $4,000,000 buyout in 2024 should the option not be exorcised. However, he could still help the Mariners should they agree to keep him in 2024. He has been dominate at times, but he can be a bit inconsistent.
According to Baseball Savant, Clevinger has been slightly above average in nearly every category. What stuck out to me is his hart hit % of 33.2%. That is 3% lower than the MLB average of 36.2%. That is good enough for the 86th percentile. His average exit velocity is in the 73rd percentile as well. While his strikeout rate has gone down over his career, and it is low thi season, his walk rate is right at his career average.
He will not be a 200K guy anymore, but he will be a solid 4th or 5th starter in a rotation. They Mariners may need a guy like Clevinger in 2024. He is a cheaper option than other would-be free agents like Blake Snell, Julio Urias or Aaron Nola. Is he as good or better than those 3? No. But the Mariners do not need a frontline free agent pitcher. With Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo locked in, the Mariners can focus their money on other positions of need. Clevinger could be the stop-gap needed to until Robbie Ray and Marco Gonzales get back from injury.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP (Free Agent) - 2-6, 6.50 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 4.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 88.2 Innings
Okay, Noah Syndergaard technically is not on the waiver wire, as he was DFA'd earlier this week. But i am going to make a case for Thor. Noah Syndergaard is little more than a name these days. While his nickname is Thor, he is looking a lot more like Thor from Avengers Endgame. His Baseball Savant page is almost shocking for how bad he has been in 2023. Seriously, if you have not seen it, take a look and come back. I am not saying the Mariners should sign Thor, but could they? Maybe. Could be be at least somewhat valuable? Maybe.
The case for signing Syndergaard is not strong at all. He is getting hit harder than his comic book counterpart against Thanos. His 2023 campaign started with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He boasted a 7.16 ERA over 12 starts with the Dodgers, and his underlying stats do not offer much hope. He was then dealt to Cleveland, and the results were not much better. In just 33.1 innings, he gave up 10 (!!!) home runs. He has almost Jamie Moyer-type velocity, without the breaking pitches to back up the slow speed.
But he does not walk people. When you see an elevated ERA and FIP, the first thing I look to is the walk rate. His is in the 92nd percentile. That just goes to show how hard he is being hit this season. From what he was in his early Mets days to now, he has almost had two careers. It is extremely puzzling to see how far Noah Syndergaard has fallen. Can the Mariners fix him? Probably not. But is he still decent enough to throw 5 innings every 5 or 6 games down the stretch? Maybe. T-Mobile Park is a pitchers park, and maybe some of those hard hit balls stay within its walls.
I actually hope that the mariners lad Clevinger. He has pitched in big games before, and can be very dependable going forward. If it doe not work out, then you lose $5.4M and you cut ties. But, if that is just too much money to swallow, Noah Syndergaard is out there for league minimum. That alone might be enough to bring him aboard. Either way, the next 48 hours will be interesting to see if the Mariners can land just one more piece to help them win the division, and maybe even more. As always, go Mariners!