Top 3 SF Giants starting pitching targets by HR/9 ratio
3. Carlos Rodón - 0.61 HR/9
It could just be a coincidence but the top three free-agent targets in terms of HR/9 are left-handed pitchers. The Giants are very familiar with the third option and I would argue that the best will to fill the Carlos Rodón -sized void in the rotation is by purchasing a brand new subscription of Carlos Rodón.
The Giants will carry some leverage with the hard-throwing lefty after issuing a $19.65 million qualifying offer on Thursday. If Rodón signs elsewhere, then the Giants will receive a compensatory pick.
Draft pick compensation can hurt the market for some players as teams are typically reluctant to lose a draft pick. However, that is not going to be the case for the eight-year veteran as his value over the course of his next contract will likely exceed that of a draft pick.
It would be great if the Giants re-signed Rodón but I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that they may look for the next Rodón-like contract. After all, the Giants freely let Kevin Gausman walk last offseason without making a legitimate offer.
Plus, it bears mentioning that new Giants general manager Pete Putila comes from a Houston Astros organization that appears adverse to long-term contracts for starting pitchers. It feels like the writing is on the wall.
However, the Giants will not find a free-agent pitcher who performed better than the southpaw in 2022. Rodón posted a 2.88 ERA, 2.25 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, and a 5.46 SO/W ratio in 31 starts. This includes a 0.61 HR/9 ratio, which ranked as the 11th-best rate among starters with over 100 innings pitched.
Rodón made the NL All-Star team in 2022 and will likely receive some Cy Young votes when ballots are published later this month.
On a different note, the 29-year-old pitcher had an edge on the mound and the Giants need more of that fire. Whatever teams ends up with Rodón will be happy that they will get a starter with several prime years ahead. I just hope that the team that ends up with the lefty is San Francisco.