3 best Carlos Rodon free-agent destinations


Carlos Rodon is coming off a breakout season with the Chicago White Sox, who won the AL Central for the first time in 13 years this past season. The standout campaign for the southpaw included him throwing a no-hitter . Had a midseason shoulder injury not gotten in the way, Rodon may have been on his way to winning the AL Cy Young Award.

In what has already been a vibrant offseason in the sport, Rodon finds himself arguably the best starting pitcher remaining on the open market. If his 2021 campaign is a glimpse of what’s to come, an MLB team could be getting their rotation anchor in Rodon. And even if Rodon isn’t exactly what he was this past season, his career is trending in a prosperous direction.

Here are three ideal free agent destinations for Carlos Rodon.

3) Carlos Rodon enhances the Kansas City Royals
Oct 12, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) reacts after striking out Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez (not pictured) to end the first inning in game four of the 2021 ALDS at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have been rebuilding for six years. In all likelihood, that effort will continue in 2022. At the same time, they need to be on the hunt for players in their prime who can complement their core and uplift the rebuild as a whole. Rodon would help do as such.

Starting pitching has been Kansas City’s chronic weakness. While Brad Keller, Jakob Junis and Brady Singer have had their moments, they’ve been inconsistent and unable to sustain success. Sure, signing Rodon would be a risk, but he also gives the Royals a veteran starter who becomes their immediate ace.

Under the mindset that the Royals are more often than not winning when the southpaw takes the hill, manager Mike Matheny gets some breathing room when it comes to the progression of his young starters. Few, if any of the Royals’ top pitching prospects outside of maybe Asa Lacy nearing the big leagues underscores the need for the front office to get help on the pitching front.

  • Carlos Rodon stats (2021): 2.37 ERA. 0.96 WHIP and 185 strikeouts across 132.2 innings (24 starts)

Plus, if Rodon picks up where he left things with the White Sox, the Royals not only get a rotation upgrade: they get their ace. This positions them to make win-now moves to further their competitive standing in the AL.

All that being said, the Royals, a team that has been at the bottom of the sport of late, may only want to make a substantial investment in a starting pitcher with a durable past (Rodon’s MLB career has unfortunately been plagued by injuries).
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2) Carlos Rodon to the Los Angeles Angels
Aug 16, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Signing Noah Syndergaard was a compelling way to kick off the Angels’ offseason, but it’s not enough for them to be a playoff team, especially with the rival Texas Rangers spending $561 million over the last week. Rolling the dice on Rodon makes sense for the Angels.

The AL West is becoming stiff with the Rangers spending like nobody’s business, the Houston Astros being a perennial contender and the Oakland Athletics being a continual competitive program. If the Angels are going to do anything in the AL West, let alone the AL, they need to fill out their ballclub. That means entering 2022 with a reliable rotation.

Rodon overpowering hitters with his fastball, Shohei Ohtani being a two-way star and Syndergaard serving as an innings-eating power pitcher could lead to a sturdy rotation for the Angels. Plus, if Griffin Canning gets back on track and one of Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez build on their brief 2021 success, the Angels would have a lethal rotation.

  • Carlos Rodon contract prediction: three-year, $57 million deal

Los Angeles has the makings of an elite offense with Ohtani, Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh leading the charge. If manager Joe Maddon gets more accomplished and/or proven starting pitchers, the Angels will finally be a team that warrants playoff expectations.

However, the team already having a history of health concerns in its rotation with Ohtani and Syndergaard could stop them from making a legitimate play for Rodon. Also Read:
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani caps historic season as unanimous AL MVP

1) Carlos Rodon stays with the Chicago White Sox
Sep 1, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Rodon shined with the White Sox in 2021 and could continue to do so on a team with World Series aspirations. The two sides should pursue a long-term pact.

The White Sox had one of the better rotations in MLB last season with Rodon, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease. This unit can only get better. How? Rodon could be just getting started, Giolito was up and down last season, Cease is still just 25 and Dallas Keuchel is capable of much more than a 5.28 ERA. Also Read:
Top MLB free agents of 2021-2022: Contract predictions for Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and more

Manager Tony La Russa has a rotation that’s capable of being the best in the sport. Meanwhile, the White Sox also have a prolific offense with upside, as Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez missed extensive time in 2021 on an offense that still did damage from start to finish in the regular season.

Rodon is a great story. He went from being a middle-of-the-rotation starter who had injuries impede his career for two seasons to being Chicago’s best hurler in 2021. All of that happened with the same team. He showcased the ability to be an elite starter. If that performance continues, he could be their long-term ace.

Health will be a recurring question, but Carlos Rodon was a vital aspect of the 2021 White Sox. They’re better off with him than without him.

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