Carlos Rodón signs elsewhere this time, landing with Giants

(Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Carlos Rodón Era could’ve ended with a non-tendering. Instead, it’ll end on a high note, even if there are bittersweet tones.

Fresh off a fifth-place finish in Cy Young voting in his final year with the White Sox, Rodón signed the first major contract after the lockout by landing with the Giants for a deal that’s worth up to $44 million over two years. The first year is for $21.5 million, the second year $22.5 million, with an opt-out clause in between.

In the end, Scott Boras was correct to say the White Sox did Rodón a favor by not extending him the $18.4 million qualifying offer in the days after the conclusion of the World Series. The counterpoint is that if Rodón could only get two years at an AAV slightly higher than the qualifying offer, then he might’ve been lucky to get a deal any better than the qualifying offer with compensation attached.

San Francisco is a great landing spot for Rodón, especially since it isn’t Minnesota. It’s been pitcher-friendly in general, and the Giants have a system that’s generated a number of triumphs over previous seasons, including three other free agents this winter (Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood). If Rodón garnered more Cy Young support, nobody would be surprised. The question is whether the issues that prevented Rodón from pitching on regular rest for all of the last two months will follow him going forward. Rick Hahn didn’t sound that confident in a stable rebound when he had to explain his decision in November, and Rodón’s 2022 innings total will go most of the way in finishing this debate.

Either way, I think the White Sox are at peace. It would’ve been a different story had they cut him loose entirely after non-tendering him the previous year, then watched him put it all together under somebody who wasn’t Don Cooper. Fortunately, the Sox hired their own version of “not Don Cooper” in Ethan Katz, and felt confident that hoping for different results wasn’t merely the insanity talking.

Rodón finally was able to capitalize on his immense potential before closing his chapter with the White Sox, and while it might’ve left fans wanting more, they certainly could’ve seen less. Imagine the reaction if he threw his no-hitter in his first month on another team.

Rodón will be on my list of the most fascinating White Sox-adjacent players to follow in 2022, and the White Sox might get to face him for the first time when they travel to the Bay Area to open July. Outside of that weekend, Sox fans should be free to wish him the best.

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a-t

Wish ‘Los the best… and wish Keuchel’s deal was a year shorter so they could’ve dumped him and given ‘Los the QO or this deal. It was such a joy to watch early season ‘21 Rodon utterly overpower major league hitters, hope his shoulder & elbow hold up.

Ben

It’s hard to argue Rodon shouldn’t have gotten a qualifying offer regardless of other payroll.

It’s easy to say he was never accepting it in hindsight, but a 2-year deal with both years well over the QO is a pretty damning indictment of how the White Sox front office values a guy compared to the rest of the industry.

They certainly know things I don’t about him, but I trust Zaidi’s evaluation more than Hahn’s at this point.

Trooper Galactus

Best of luck to him.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Not bad news really. Prevents the Sox from paying a big salary to a pitcher with highly questionable health where playoffs are concerned. Plus he went to the Giants… not the Yankees, Astros, or any AL Central team. No matter how good he winds up being, he can’t hurt the Sox one bit.

ParisSox

I’m very happy for him. I don’t trust that shoulder.

It feels like he put the pedal to the metal from the start of the year to try to get that next contract. Then it couldn’t hold up.

I wish him the best but prefer that the Sox use that money on other needs.

roke1960

Very happy for him. And the best news is, he went to the NL. I was afraid the Tigers or Twins would sign him. Now go get Greinke.

Augusto Barojas

I agree that Rodon would have been too much risk to pay 22M. But I do think it was worth taking the risk of giving him the QO and getting picks for that. I think the chances of him taking it were slim, and I wish they would have done that instead of picking up Kimbrel’s option for 16M.

If they can trade Kimbrel it’s all good I suppose. Hoping for McNeil from the Mets, that would make it worthwhile at least. If they can’t trade him, it will likely turn out to be tragically stupid.