Don’t hold your breath on a Carlos Rodón signing
The Chicago Cubs have already dramatically improved their starting spin – but given Jed Hoyer’s stated desire to add a power arm to the mix, they can’t, at least in my eyes, totally tick that box for the. instant.
Marcus Stroman is an elite ground ball thrower and will immediately fit into the top of the rotation alongside Kyle Hendricks. Wade Miley is a huge step up from Jake Arrieta or Trevor Williams. From there, you can mix and match some internal candidates, such as Adbert Alzolay, Alec Mills, and Justin Steele to give you a solid, if far from overwhelming, rotation.
Major League transactions have come to a standstill thanks to the ongoing lockdown, but there remains a free agent name that could help the Cubs fill that need – even after Hoyer said the team was turning their attention away from the pitch toss. now: Carlos Rodon.
We all know his story at this point. A former top player who had never lived up to the hype, Rodon broke into a big way in 2021, looking like a legitimate Cy Young contender before health issues and a subsequent drop in speed derailed him late in the season.
Rodon was masterful, overall, though – no matter how you slice him up: his baseball card numbers, his sabermetric and analytical data – you name him, it’s all good. But perhaps all this “good” carries more risk than any other free agent left in the market.
The White Sox have chosen not to give the southpaw a qualifying offer, which is worrying to say the least. Scott Boras has made it clear that his client wants a multi-year deal and a one-year contract is not what he is looking for in free agency. Even so, there is a very clear correspondence between Rodon and the Cubs, and one which should to be explored further, although I think it is highly unlikely to materialize.
Carlos RodÃ³n makes so much sense to the Chicago Cubs it really hurts
We’ve seen with the Stroman deal – Chicago is much more likely to go higher than long term when it comes to pitching, especially with as many red flags as Rodon. You’re not going to give a guy with lingering health issues a major deal and risk him sitting on a shelf for most of 2022 (and, potentially, years to come).
But if the Cubs can find something on, say, a two-year contract, like Brett at Launderer Nation underline – they have Nothing to lose. The 2022 team is not a legitimate contender for the World Series as it is currently constructed. Could they make the playoffs, especially if the playoffs are expanded in the new CBA? May be. Could they also lose over 90 games and resell in July? You bet.
In both scenarios, however, Rodon is valuable. If the Cubs sneak past October next fall, a Stroman-Rodon-Hendricks trio is a damn good place to start. If the team is on a dumpster fire in July and Rodon is healthy, Hoyer’s phone is going to explode with suitors clamoring to add him for the stretch race.
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What if, after all of this, he finds himself injured and is nothing more than a dead weight? it still doesn’t matter. This organization has its eyes set on 2024 and beyond. A two-year incentive deal for a high-risk, high-yield industry like Carlos RodÃ³n does nothing to make a long-term plan. Even so, seeing Chicago take a serious leap against the veteran seems like a very long term right now.