The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly agreed to a two-year/$16-million contract with relief pitcher Emilio Pagán. The deal is pending a physical.
Pagán spent last season in Minnesota and posted a 2.99 ERA and 65 punch outs over 69.1 innings of work in 66 appearances out of the Twins bullpen.
While it's great to see the Reds finally come through and sign a pitcher this offseason, there's one major concern as it relates to Pagán that could come back to haunt Cincinnati.
Newly signed Reds pitcher Emilio Pagán has given up a lot of HRs in his career
Emilio Pagán has a history of giving up a lot of home runs, and as every Cincinnati Reds fan knows all too well, that can be problematic when half of a pitcher's games are played at Great American Ball Park.
Pagán is not a ground ball pitcher. According to Baseball Savant, Pagán's 32.2-percent ground ball-rate was among the seventh-percentile in all of Major League Baseball last season.
However, despite Pagán's low ground ball-rate, the right-hander only allowed 0.65 home runs per nine innings last season. That's a far-cry from Pagán's career-HR/9 of 1.75 prior to last season.
Even more impressive was Pagán's 5.3-percent home run to fly ball ratio (HR/FB) last season. The year prior, Pagán's HR/FB was 18.5-percent. The Cincinnati Reds are obviously banking on Pagán's performance in 2023 to be the norm and not an outlier.
If Emilio Pagán can keep the ball in the ballpark, this will be a very nice signing for the Reds. The right-hander has been a durable reliever throughout almost his entire career.
Pagán has made 55 or more relief appearances in five of the last six seasons. The lone year in which Pagán did not eclipse 55 outings was in the truncated 2020 season. That year, Pagán made 22 relief appearances.