"Buy low” free agent candidate: Taylor Rogers

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Taylor Rogers has been an intriguing lefty reliever New York Mets fans have had an eye on for a couple of seasons. Formerly of the Minnesota Twins, he always seemed to be a nice fit for the Flushing bullpen. He managed to save 50 games and deliver a 3.15 ERA in 319 appearances for the Twins during his six years with the ball club.

Rogers ended up traded to the San Diego Padres last winter then moved again to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Josh Hader deal. His 2022 results weren’t so great. He was 4-8 with a 4.76 ERA with both clubs—much worse with the Brewers where he had a 5.48 ERA.

Rogers is now a free agent. While certainly not positioned to become a closer again, perhaps he’s someone the Mets could view as a “buy low” candidate.

The Mets bullpen needs arms and Taylor Rogers is candidate to consider

As poorly as the season went for Rogers, there is one specific number that stands out. During his time in San Diego, Rogers had a 4.35 ERA but a 2.34 FIP. The suggestion that he was the victim of some bad luck might have something to do with only allowing a single home run in 41.1 innings.

Rogers finished with some other favorable numbers, too. Combined in Milwaukee and San Diego, he struck out batters at a rate of 11.8 per 9 while walking them at a pace of 2.7 per 9. His 1.18 WHIP doesn’t match the ERA. It seems that when Rogers was good, he was very good. When he was bad, everyone scored against him.

In a non-closer role, we’d have to expect Rogers to perform slightly better. He actually had a 3.96 ERA in the ninth inning for his career. In the eighth, it drops down to 2.99. And in the seventh, the latest the Mets would probably use him, Rogers has a 2.29 ERA in 62 career innings.

A lefty reliever is something the Mets have needed since Aaron Loup left—not that he was terrific with the Los Angeles Angels last year. The duo of Chasen Shreve and Joely Rodriguez never felt satisfactory enough. Although Rogers may be trending in the wrong direction, he’s someone to circle back to when other options may fail. Andrew Chafin is probably a more sure bet to perform well in 2023. Rogers, however, has enough of a history to be a rebound candidate.

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