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Cubs free agent target: Carlos Rodón

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Well, why not?

Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

How many times have you seen me write on this topic here?

At least twice in the last year alone: Here and here. And BCBer mickkelleher wrote a FanPost on this topic just yesterday afternoon. (I swear I wrote this and scheduled it for today BEFORE mick’s post went up.)

Carlos Rodón would have been a good fit for the 2021 Cubs, though his presence alone wouldn’t have kept the Cubs from collapsing out of the NL Central race. Most likely, if the Cubs had in fact signed Rodón last offseason, he’d have been traded with everyone else at the deadline. I proposed a minor-league deal with incentives in those two articles linked above, and given his long history with the White Sox, of course he returned to them when they offered him a major-league contract. It was a $3 million deal with no incentives, and the Sox surely got their money’s worth.

So, I still think Rodón is worth pursuing. What would be reasons not to? Injuries, injuries, injuries. Though Rodón did make 24 starts — his most since 2016 — he missed time again with shoulder problems. He missed three weeks in August on the injured list with those shoulder issues, and then when he returned in September the Sox limited his pitch counts. He didn’t go past five innings in any of his starts after July 18 and his max pitch count after that was 89. His one postseason start in 2021, Game 4 of the division series against the Astros, was a bust. He had also missed time in 2020 with a shoulder issue, came back to pitch in the Sox’ wild card series against the A’s and was bad there too.

Why, then, am I promoting signing Rodón? Because he’s a 29-year-old (in December) lefthander who can be absolutely dominant when healthy. Clearly, the Cubs would have to manage his innings.

So how about something like this? Three years, $15 million base ($5 million base each year) with a $1 million bonus for each start past 20 in each season. That’d be $18 million each year if he gets to the now-MLB standard of 33 starts. Then throw in a fourth-year vesting option at $20 million if he makes 33 starts in the third year, with a $1 million buyout.

Would that work? Who says no?

One last note on Rodón: He was chosen in 2014 by the White Sox with the third overall pick. The Cubs had the fourth pick and selected Kyle Schwarber. What if Rodón had still been on the board when the Cubs picked? Would they have taken him instead of Schwarber? Interesting thought exercise.

Poll

Carlos Rodón...

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a contract like the one proposed in the article
    (217 votes)
  • 10%
    ... the Cubs should sign him, but to a different type of deal in either years or dollars or both
    (110 votes)
  • 34%
    ... too expensive and/or injury-prone. Pass
    (375 votes)
  • 35%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (383 votes)
1085 votes total Vote Now