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Free Agent Poll: Carlos Rodón

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San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

We have used this idea for the last couple of years. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, using the contract FanGraphs suggests and have a poll to see if we would sign him for that amount.

Carlos Rodón is number 7 on FanGraphs’ list and #9 on Keith Law’s list.

He turns 30 in December.

He’s a interesting question. He’s just off two super seasons in a row after some injury-filled years. You can look at it two ways. Either you see him as a guy with a history of injuries, and you worry that he’ll miss more time.

Or you look a guy, who at 30, doesn’t have as much mileage on his arm and maybe that will serve him well going into his 30s. Often pitchers who don’t throw a lot of innings when they are young, age well. But then Keith Law throws some cold water on that theory:

This past season marked the first time Rodón ever made 30 starts in one year, and just the second time he pitched enough to qualify for the ERA title. He missed most of 2017 with a shoulder injury that required surgery, and threw just 42 innings between 2019-20 around Tommy John surgery. He was worked very hard at NC State as an amateur, and has always had a high-effort delivery, so forecasting future health is dicey, to put it mildly. He has age on his side, at least, and perhaps the two major surgeries have bought him a few more years of health. If you believe he’s going to hold up, he’s the best pitcher on the market and worth the biggest investment, a $30 million-a-year arm for however many years you can stomach.

Over the past two seasons, Carlos has a 27-13 record, a 2.67 ERA in 55 starts. In 310.2 innings he has struck out 422 and walked 88. His strikeout rate was 33.4% last year. We could use a pitch who gives the fielders a day off now and then.

Ben says:

Remember last year when the White Sox didn’t give Rodón a qualifying offer? Their loss is the Giants’ gain, in multiple ways; Rodón was their best pitcher this year, and now he’ll either return to the team on a big deal or net them a shiny draft pick. Rodón is a great pitcher, and in a hit-you-over-the-head way: he throws hard, throws harder as the game goes on, and commands his slider as if it were an extension of his arm. The combination is lethal, as Rodón’s opponents over the past two years can attest.

Why two years? That’s the length of time he’s shown this newfound form; he amassed 11.1 WAR in those two seasons, and a combined 7.0 in the previous six. The question that teams ask themselves about every free agent pitcher – will he be healthy enough to be effective? – is an even greater unknown in Rodón’s case. There’s plenty of evidence that he’s a great pitcher right now; whoever signs him will simply have to weight that more than those earlier years in the wilderness.

Any free-agent pitcher, going into his 30s, has front offices balancing trying to judge how like it is that he’ll stay healthy. Is Rodón a better risk, going into his 30s than Verlander going into his 40s?

Ben expects Carlos to get a five-year contract at $24 million a year, for a total of $120 million. As my dad would say ‘cheap at half the price’. And if you got five seasons that are just like the last two, then it would be cheap.

Poll

Should the Jays sign Carlos Rodón if the price is $24 million a year for 5 years?

  • 38%
    Yes, absolutely
    (200 votes)
  • 23%
    Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
    (122 votes)
  • 27%
    Probably no, but I wouldn’t hate it
    (145 votes)
  • 10%
    No, absolutely not
    (53 votes)
520 votes total Vote Now