May 12, 2021

D-Backs Sign Héctor Rondón, Who Might Be Good (FanGraphs)

Héctor Rondón made a ton of appearances last year for a solid Houston bullpen. The Astros had a top 10 bullpen in both ERA and WAR, and Rondón made the third-most appearances on the team. If you only knew those two things, then, it would look like quite the deal when the Diamondbacks signed Rondón for a mere $3 million, with a club option for 2021 tacked onto the back end, as Nick Piecoro reported yesterday.

Of course, I cleverly avoided telling you anything about how good Rondón was last year aside from his appearances. And while he wasn’t abysmal, at least not completely — he had a 3.71 ERA, racked up positive WPA, and still sat 97 mph with his fastball — some of the underlying metrics looked rough. His FIP was a career-worst 4.96, his strikeout rate cratered to 18.7%, and he was below replacement level on the year in our FIP-based WAR accounting. By the playoffs, he was buried in the bullpen — seven relievers in the Houston ‘pen faced more batters, and his average entry leverage was a piddling 0.16.

So before we decide if this was a good signing for the Diamondbacks, we need to decide if Rondón is still good. At his peak on the Cubs, he was an impact…

Read “D-Backs Sign Héctor Rondón, Who Might Be Good” at FanGraphs