There were a fair amount of players that were non-tendered just before the start of the MLB lockout that could latch on somewhere else this offseason. Some could turn out to have a great season in 2022 and some could just fizzle out into the sunset. The Colorado Rockies have some recent success with previously non-tendered players, like C.J. Cron, and other 2020 non-tenders had great seasons as well.
Eddie Rosario was a 2020 non-tender and he was the NLCS MVP for the Atlanta Braves. Adam Duvall was also non-tendered (by the Braves) and the Marlins signed him. The Braves traded back for him at the trade deadline in 2021 and he ended up leading the NL in RBI with 113 and won a Gold Glove.
Carlos Rodón was non-tendered by the White Sox but re-signed with them. He came in 5th in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2021. Kyle Schwarber was non-tendered by the Cubs in 2020 but hit 32 homers in just 113 games in 2021 and the Rockies are reportedly interested in him this offseason.
In other words, sometimes, you can find diamonds in the rough with the non-tenders. Over the next few days and weeks during the lockout, we are going to examine some of the non-tenders of this offseason and examine their fit with the Colorado Rockies. Today, we lead off with former Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd.
Matthew Boyd could be fit for the Colorado Rockies if not for one thing.
Matthew Boyd, who will turn 31 in February, has spent part of the last seven seasons as a member of the Detroit Tigers but since they non-tendered him, the Colorado Rockies could be looking at him as a fit for the team.
Boyd was acquired by the Tigers from the Blue Jays in the David Price trade in 2015. He was the center piece of the trade and he did not quite pan out for the Tigers.
For the Tigers, he went 37-60 with a 4.87 ERA in 147 games (143 starts). The Tigers pulled a move like the Rockies did in 2021 with Jon Gray, as they could have traded Boyd when he was pitching well in 2019. The Tigers were on their way to a 114-loss campaign so they were not anywhere close to contention but they held on to Boyd, who entered July with an ERA of 3.72 (FIP of 3.59) in 17 starts. In July, his ERA went up to 3.94 and the Tigers didn’t optimize Boyd’s value. In August and September, Boyd had an ERA of 6.11 (6.48 FIP).
Part of the reason his ERA skyrocketed was the long-ball as, in his first 22 starts (through July), he allowed 22 homers for an average of one per start (which is still a bit high). In his final 10 starts, he allowed 17 homers, or nearly two per start.
In 2020, he was awful as he had a 6.71 ERA in the pandemic-shortened season (12 starts) but he rebounded well in 2021 (3.89 ERA, 4.10 FIP). The problem is that he was injured for much of the season (he only made 15 starts).
He also just had surgery (in September) on his pitching elbow and, more specifically, flexor tendon surgery. It’s not as serious as Tommy John surgery but the timetable for a return is not clear. Boyd thinks he can pitch in 2022 but he will likely be out until least June.
So Boyd would bring a veteran to the Rockies rotation and, essentially, replace Jon Gray but with his struggles in late 2019, 2020, and his injury, the Rockies probably will not take the risk on him, at least for 2022.