Minnesota Twins: 5 non-tendered free agents that could make intriguing signs
From one Rondon to another. While the Twins will hopefully pursue some bullpen arms with more certainty to them, at 26 Bruce Rondon is an intriguing arm even after an interesting start to his career with the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers didn’t want to pick up Rondon’s $1.2 million projected salary which ended the hurler’s tenuous relationship with the club.
A look at Rondon’s numbers in 2017 certainly provides support for the Tigers decision to release Rondon. After 21 appearances he turned in a 2017 ERA of 10.91. Rondon has always struggled with surrendering walks. 2016 is really his only season where he was able to stay away from giving the free pass to batters. In 2017 Rondon walked 6.14 batters per nine and it walking batters at a rate like that took Rondon from a feared future closer who could run his fastball up to 100 mph to a non-tender free agent.
Rondon’s velocity has come down a little bit since his debut, but as his fastball currently averages 97 mph, he is still a powerful arm. If Rondon can get his walks under control any team employing him will be able to see the benefits of a pitcher who has always had a good strikeout rate. His major league career best was in 2017 at 12.64 SO/9. Rondon is no stranger to high strikeout rates as he has also turned in seasons of 11.15 SO/9 (2016) and 10.45 SO/9 (2015).
Rondon has clearly never lived up to the hype that followed him as a young player. If the Twins can be the right change of scenery for the young hurler his ability to miss bats would be a good addition needed by the Twins in order to match up against some of the great lineups in the majors if they want to challenge for that World Series crown.