That was one pick before the Cubs picked Kyle Schwarber — and it was said by some at the time that had Rodon been on the board when the Cubs’ turn came up, they likely would have taken him instead of Schwarber.
Well. Schwarber made some great contributions to the Cubs from 2015-20, and now he’s gone to the Nationals via free agency.
So why not pick up the guy they might have picked instead of him?
Seriously, that’s not the reason, though it would certainly be a great story if Rodon finally got past all his injuries and had the MLB career everyone thought he would.
This idea might look familiar to you and indeed, I wrote on this very topic in December:
So why sign him? Because he’s a first-round talent (third overall in 2014) who’s had tremendous bad luck with injuries. It’s worth a flyer, I’d say, to see if he’s healthy because if he is, at just 28 he could be a real boost to a Cubs rotation that could use that.
In that article, I also proposed a financial package that might make sense for both Rodon and the Cubs:
Sign him to a minor-league deal with a guarantee of $1 million if he makes the 26-man roster (or however many are going to be on a 2021 Opening Day roster, we still don’t know). Then give him an additional $2 million for every 10 starts he makes. Thus if he would get to 30 starts, he’d make $7 million in 2021, which would be pretty reasonable for a healthy lefthanded pitcher of Rodon’s talent. Rodon made $4.45 million in 2020, so $7 million would be a significant raise. MLB Trade Rumors projected him for $4.5 million in arbitration.
It’s interesting to note that I was uncertain about the number of players who will be on an Opening Day roster this year six weeks ago, and we are still no closer to finding that out.
I still think this would be a reasonable offer for Rodon. If he’s not healthy or not ready to start the 2021 season on the Opening Day roster, well, either release him or maybe get him to agree to go to Iowa for a while, with an opt-out date if he’s not recalled by then.
Carlos Rodon had first-round talent, or at least the White Sox thought so. Pitchers taken in that round after Rodon who have had good MLB careers include Aaron Nola, Kyle Freeland and Jack Flaherty.
This would be a low-risk, possible high-reward signing. Get it done, Jed.
This poll is closed
... should be signed by the Cubs for the terms noted in the article
... should be signed by the Cubs, but under different terms
... should not be signed by the Cubs
Something else (leave in comments)