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Cubs free agent target: Carlos Rodón

Okay, let’s talk about this.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

If this topic looks familiar, it should — I wrote about my desire to see the Cubs sign Carlos Rodón here in December 2020, January 2021 and November 2021.

The 2020-21 offseason deal I proposed for Rodón would actually have been better than what he got from the White Sox:

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.

Rodón made 24 starts in 2021, so under that plan he’d have made $5 million, which is $2 million more than the White Sox paid him. I understand why he went with the Sox that year, he had a history with them and they were offering him guaranteed money.

I also wouldn’t have paid Rodón the $21.5 million the Giants gave him, but he was certainly worth that contract, posting a 2.88 ERA and 1.028 WHIP and leading all MLB pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings (12.0) and FIP (2.25).

All of that added up to a career-best 5.4 bWAR season.

Rodón turns 30 in December and he appears to be healthy — he didn’t miss a start in 2022 and made 30+ starts for the first time in his career — so it seems likely he’ll opt out of the $22.5 million on his 2023 Giants deal and test free agency.

Now that the Cubs are (presumably) going to try to contend in 2023, Rodón would be a great fit for the rotation. He’d instantly jump to the top of the heap and a rotation consisting of Rodón, Marcus Stroman, a rejuvenated Kyle Hendricks, Drew Smyly or Adrian Sampson and Hayden Wesneski sounds to me like a rotation that could compete for the NL Central title.

What would it take? Obviously, more than $22.5 million, at least for 2023, and likely more for future years.

So, how about this? Three years, $70 million, with a $25 million vesting option for 2026 (with a $5 million buyout).

Would that be enough? Would you do it?

Oh, and just as in the case of signing José Abreu, signing Rodón would likely make White Sox fans’ heads explode.


Carlos Rodón...

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a deal similar to the one in the article
    (253 votes)
  • 31%
    ... the Cubs should sign him, but it will cost more in dollars or years or both
    (181 votes)
  • 22%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (132 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (11 votes)
577 votes total Vote Now