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Rumor roundup and Wednesday night open thread

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Much ado about Rodon

Division Series - Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox - Game Four Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The GM Meetings are underway in Carlsbad, CA, which means we’re subjected to a flurry of “Team X is looking for Y this offseason” reporting. We haven’t gotten one of those for the Braves, though, as Alex Anthopoulos only arrived at the shindig earlier today. There’s still time, though, so don’t fret.


In rumor roundup news, since there isn’t much happening, it’s worth whirling a few words about the curious case of Carlos Rodon, the 28-year-old left-hander most recently with the White Sox. Since his debut in 2015, Rodon has been decent and oft-injured, averaging under 90 innings a season. Yet, none of that, including just 42 combined innings between 2019-2020, stopped him from busting out a 4.9 fWAR season across 132 23 innings in 2021. Seriously, his career stat progression looks really weird as of the end of 2021:

What’s not listed in the above is that the White Sox actually non-tendered Rodon after 2020, before re-signing him to a one-year, $3 million deal. He responded by throwing way harder than before and basically blowing guys away. He wore down a bit in terms of both durability and performance later in the year, but with free agency looming, what a time to bust out.

The point of all of this is that Rodon was not issued a Qualifying Offer by the White Sox this past Sunday. I’m not unequivocally arguing that he should have been — perhaps his most recent team knows something about his medicals that we don’t — but it’s still a bit weird to see a guy that almost hit 5 fWAR not get that kind of offer, especially since it’s only a one-year commitment if he accepts. This whole situation became a little weirder when Rodon’s agent, Scott Boras, indicated today that Rodon was always looking for a multi-year offer. If so (and while I acknowledge that you can’t really take anything Boras says seriously), then not offering Rodon the Qualifying Offer was a bit of an own goal: not only did the White Sox punt on some compensation if Rodon signed with another team, but they skipped on the chance to dent his market and give them a better shot of re-signing him for the future.

On Fangraphs, the crowdsource figured Rodon for a four-year deal worth around $76 million, which overpowered Ben Clemens’ own $45 million, three years estimate. To me, all of those seem very aggressive, as I kind of figure Rodon would be ripe for one of those “okay, but seriously prove it” one-year deals with a $20 million price tag or so.

But, it only takes one team to think they’re getting in on the ground floor (or, well, the second floor) of something big, and Rodon certainly picked the right season to gain a tick-and-a-half.

Other random news and notes:

  • The Red Sox have not only extended a Qualifying Offer to Eduardo Rodriguez, but issued a multi-year contract proposal to him as well. Rodriguez put up 3.8 fWAR in 2021 after missing all of the 2020 season, but picked up right where he left off, considering his 3.7 fWAR in 2019.
  • Cole Hamels has still not retired. After his misadventures with the Braves in 2020, Hamels bilked another million out of the Dodgers this past season. Will anyone else line up to contribute to the Cole Hamels Charity Fund this offseason? Stay tuned. Hamels apparently expects to be able to return to the field in the late summer, so get your pocketbooks ready or whatever.
  • MLBTR reported on a few minor league signings today. Rico Garcia, who had 16 major league innings between 2019-2020, signed with the Orioles. Garcia throws around 95, but there may not be much else there, and he’s coming off of Tommy John Surgery. Aaron Whitefield is the newest member of the Angels organization; Whitefield has literally one major league PA and had a -2 (yes that’s a minus sign) wRC+ with the Twins’ Double-A team in 2019. It improved to 84 at the same level in 2021.