Top 20 free agents & where they’ll sign part 1
By Neil Raymond
6. Carlos Rodón, SP
5 years/$150 million with the Texas Rangers
If there’s one area where the Miami Marlins don’t need help, it’s the rotation. It’s especially good because the starting pitching market features aces with some impressive upside, and just as scary downside. Carlos Rodón is at the top of the list.
Rodón took a while to emerge as an ace, and spent most of his career trying to stay healthy as a #3-#4 starter with the Chicago White Sox He had both shoulder surgery and Tommy John surgery, then found himself non-tendered after a 5.74 ERA in 42 1/3 innings during 2019-2020.
Chicago brought him back for 2021 on a 1 year/$3 million contract. Rodón then broke out as an ace. Shoulder fatigue kept him to just 6 starts for the final two months, and he was forced into another 1 year deal for 2022. He took a 2 year/$44 million deal with the San Francisco Giants, but got an opt-out after the first for pitching 110 innings.
Rodón delivered a 5.4 WAR in a career-high 178 innings with a 2.88 ERA/2.24 FIP, and importantly didn’t struggle with his health this time around. Chicago helped San Francisco quite a bit, by stupidly not offering him a QO last off-season. As a result, Carlos now got one from San Francisco and will bring them draft pick compensation.
Carlos Rodón will be 29 years old to start next season, so 5 years seems reasonable for him. He may even get a couple opt-outs again. I expect him to top out at $30 million a year, but it’s always possible that he’ll command more. San Francisco make sense as a destination, but they don’t seem to like long-term contracts for pitchers.
Texas is planning to heavily pursue top of the rotation starting pitchers, so I think that they’ll end up topping the market for Carlos Rodón.