SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Minutes after Taylor Rogers insisted that he and identical twin Tyler are way past their days of pulling pranks, his brother did just that.
“We’re not tricksters,” Taylor had declared.
Then, just as Taylor began to finish his introductory video call with the Giants, joining the same San Francisco bullpen as Tyler, his brother came on under the screen name of Brennan Huff.
“Is it safe to say the Giants have the best looking bullpen in the National League West?” asked Huff, AKA Tyler.
“Absolutely, absolutely. It just got a whole lot better as of Wednesday when you officially signed Taylor Rogers,” his good-natured twin replied, playing along nicely.
Yep, Tyler failed mightily in pulling a fast one this time.
“You just let anybody on these Zooms, huh?” Taylor cracked to a Giants media relations executive.
Taylor, the lefty, will be pitching alongside Tyler, the righty, after Taylor Rogers signed a $33 million, three-year contract this week. Also Friday, President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi said outfielder Michael Conforto's agreement on a $36 million, two-year contract will be finalized “imminently,” and he has gone through a successful physical.
The Rogers brothers didn't plan on this happening, even after both pitching in the same game April 11 at San Francisco's Oracle Park, Taylor then for San Diego. They went out to exchange the lineup cards in a special moment — just the second time in major league history that twins pitched in the same game and the first time on opposing teams.
“This was something we never really wanted to fully think that this could happen,” Taylor said. “It just always felt like it was a too-good-to-be-true type of thing and then going into the offseason this year I had a discussion with Ty and he said, ‘You know what, this is your free agency, you need to do what’s best for you.' And he said, ‘If it happens to be the Giants, great, if not, that's great, too.'”
It is great for the parents and family members of he 32-year-old twins, born Dec. 17 in Littleton, Colorado: one-stop watching and cheering.
“We're going to have family around way more often now, bugging us,” Taylor said. “They are all totally excited and same thing, they never allowed themselves to think that was a possibility either. It always just felt like a movie.”
Taylor Rogers, a 2021 AL All-Star for Minnesota, went 4-8 with a 4.76 ERA and 31 saves over 66 appearances in 2022 with San Diego and Milwaukee. His 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings is a career best over a full season — 84 batters in 64 1/3 innings.
Tyler Rogers uses a unique sidearm delivery and went 3-4 with a 3.57 ERA over 68 outings and 75 2/3 innings last season as San Francisco missed the playoffs a year after winning the NL West with a franchise-best 107 victories.
Zaidi is thrilled to have them both as he looks to build one of the best bullpens in the league like the Giants had two years ago. He called it an “interesting negotiation.”
“He didn't want us to think that he would just sign with us no matter what, and we didn't want them to necessarily think that he was our only option, so we kind of danced around each other for a lot of the offseason," Zaidi said, chuckling. “He's such a great fit beyond the great story of these brothers getting to play together, which I just think is awesome."
Taylor Rogers reached the big leagues in April 2016, nearly 3 1/2 years before his brother, yet they refuse to make comparisons given their respective organizations had different needs at the time.
He sure appreciated his brother's support on whatever decision he made this winter.
“The best part of this is that we weren’t trying to make this happen in the beginning, I was just going in as clean slate, free agent, see kind of what would fit for me," Taylor said. "This happened because the Giants needed a left-handed pitcher and it's just gravy on top that Ty's here, too. I think that’s what’s cool about it, is it happened naturally, we weren’t forcing it.”
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Janie Mccauley, The Associated Press