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Throw in the Towel

Here are some guys we need to give up on heading into 2023 and lower our expectations like ZERO. Heck, even lower them to -0 if you can. I can go for a few of these players. Let's start with pitchers as usual and then end with position players.

MLB Meme

Aroldis Chapman, yes, Chapman, a once great closer, was kicked off the Yankees roster after he refused to report to the team facilities for mandatory workouts when he found out he was off the post-season roster. 2022 was the worst for the 13-year MLB vet, as he posted his career's first negative WAR (-0.2). Since 2019 Chapmans ERA has climbed from 3.09-3.36-4.46 in the lowest inning total of his career and the lowest amount of season appearances since his debut year in 2010 (2020 not included). The 35yo, potential hall of Famer, has seen his best days and is likely to continue declining. The incentive-laden, 1yr deal is a sign that the Royals are hoping that Chapman puts in the work to earn money. Scott Barlow will not let Chapman take the closer role from him in KC. Let's move on and let Chapman ride off into the KC sunset.

Yusei Kikuchi, the Mariner's big signing ahead of the 2019 season, has not panned out as he was released and did not have his option years picked up by the club. Thankfully for the Mariners, that allowed them to sign Robbie Ray and Luis Castillo and open the door for George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, and other exciting young pitchers to come. After starting the 2022 season in Jay's rotation, he was booted to the bullpen, and the results did not change as he ended the season with a 5.19ERA in 100.2IP, 124k-58BB, and a 1.50WHIP. The 32yo southpaw has looked sharp in spring training racking up the K's against the lesser competition. I don't have high hopes for Kikuchi, as he is as streaky as they are in the MLB.

Patrick Corbin, I suggested in a group chat that the Nationals are best to use Corbin over to get his to give possibly more value or get hurt, so they don't have to pay him. We have seen in recent years the Angels cut Pujols and Upton for their $30+MM salaries so that they weren't on the team holding them back. For $20+MM due to Corbin for the 2023/24 seasons. It wasn't long ago that Corbin was in AZ in 2018, finished 5th in the Cy Young, cashed in, and finished 11th in Cy Young vote in 2019. 2020, Corbin began a rough stretch as he posted a 4.66ERA/4.17FIP, followed by 5.82ERA/5.41FIP, leading the league in ER, HR, and L's in 2021. That was followed up by a league-leading 19L, 210H, 107ER, and a 6.31ERA/4.83FIP during the 2022 season. Corbin has been on the field, making 31S in the 2021/2022 seasons. It's not healthy, it's genuinely that the now 33yo Corbin has lost it, and once it falls off for a pitcher, it often is off and done. It's time for the Nationals to cut their losses, move on from Corbin, and let him be someone else problem.

Mark Melancon, the 37yo, now 15yr vet of the MLB, is hoping to rebound off a tough year one in Arizona that saw him post a 4.66ERA/4.20FIP, 35K-21BB as he was 18/21 in save opportunities with a team that lost day in and day out. He was far from the 38/45 on saves with the Padres in 2021. The numbers were some of the worst of his career since 2012 with Boson; now the age, the division is so much more challenging, and the steep fall off between 2021-2022, it's time for us to let Melancon ride off into the Arizona desert.

Chris Archer, we all remember the excellent ol' days for Chris Archer in Tampa Bay between 2012-2018 with the team, as he was the 3rd place finisher for the Rookie of the Year in 2013. He was an All-star in 2015/2017 and finished 5th in the Cy Young in 2015. Since the trade to Pittsburg in 2018, he has posted a 4.30ERA, 5.19ERA, missed the 2020 season, 4.66ERA in his reprise with the Rays, and a 4.56ERA in 25 starts with the Twins. Archer is still a free-agent heading into the 2023 season at age 34. It's yet to be seen if a team takes a last-career chance on Archer. I would only want my team to sign him purely for depth.

Jesse Winker did not say this about getting slapped by Anthony Rendon, as far was we know, MLB on Fax on Twitter.

Anthony Rendon finally looks healthy in the spring, getting on base and playing perfect baseball. However, it's always speculation during the spring whether it's smoke, especially with an injury-prone player like Rendon. At $35MM a year, the Angels hope he can stay on the field after playing in just 105G over the last two years. Rendon was highly productive during the shorted 2020 season, playing 52/60G and having a .915OPS. Two years later, Angels and baseball fans assume nothing will change at this point and expect nothing from Rendon, especially not for $35MM. I am low on Rendon and don't want to get my hopes up for the 2x Silver slugger who had top-11 MVP finishes from 2017-2020. If he gets back up there, it's a bonus to the Angels. However, I expect little from him.

Yasmani Grandal, Grandal enters the last year of his 4yr/$73MM that he signed with the White Sox. Over the last two seasons, he has played in less than 200G. In 2021 he posted a 3.7WAR when on the field; however, the turn for the worst in 2022 at age 33 was a -1.4WAR. Grandal has likely entered the twilight of his career as he moves to 1B heading into the 2023 season. He was still highly productive behind the plate in 2022 in 71G as he threw out 78% of runners. While Grandal has looked good in spring, as mentioned above, spring training can often be a smoke screen.

Andrelton Simmons, the 33yo free agent, is coming off only 75AB during the 2022 season with the Chicago Cubs and playing in only 85G. After posting the first negative WAR (-0.2) of his career, Simmons hopes to latch on at a depth piece for a contender heading into the last third to fourth of his career. Simmons is still very good with the glove, as he posted a 1.000FLD% at 2B and a .980FLD% at SS with the Cubs in 2022.

DiDi Gregorius, another 33yo free agent, coming off posted back-to-back negative WAR seasons with the Phillies of -0.8WAR, -0.4WAR, while also being left off the post-season roster for the Phillies. Didi still is great with the glove up with the middle, as he posted a .991FLD% at SS, with only 2E in 61G. I am still determining what's next for Didi. However, he is in the same boat as Simmons and has to wait until a contender needs a vet SS. The Dodgers should be in the market for both.