The White Sox decided to take a flier on a buy low reclamation project. He is still relatively young, has potential upside and played for the White Sox already last season. In a shocking turn of events Jon Heyman has reported that Carlos Rodon will be returning to the South Side just a couple of months removed from being non-tendered by the club in December. It is a one year deal is worth $3 million dollars.

The White Sox drafted Rodon in 2015 with the hopes he would develop into the next ace of the staff. He has the tools to do so. The southpaw earned his lowest single season whiff rate with an impressive 38.9% mark as a rookie. He has an above average slider and prior to 2020, he had yet to allow a batting average over .200 or a slugging percent over .300.

Unfortunately his left arm did not have the same aispirations to become the White Sox next ace and injuries derailed his career. The injuries came early and often. In 2017 he dealt with a shoulder issue that persisted in 2018. In 2019 he had to have Tommy John surgury and he never quite looked the same since. His velocity dipped and the slider wasn’t where it needed to be resulting in a demotion to the bullpen in 2020. He was only able to make 11 appearances over the past two seasons.

During that time Rodon posted some of the worst numbers of his career. he had a 5.74 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP over 42.1 innings.

The Cubs where reportedly on of the teams interested in Rodon but his former team decided they no longer wished to be former. He is expected to compete for a spot in the back end of the rotation.

Where Does Rodon Fit In?

While Rodon is still relatively young at 28 years old, the move is a bit of a head scratcher. Rodon said himself during the 2019 offseason “it’s time to shit or get off the pot”. Welp it was time for Rodon to get off of the pot because after countless opportunities he failed to reach expectations. Rodon is a cheap solution which makes him appealing to the White Sox. But with a still unproven Dylan Cease occupying a spot in the rotation and Michael Kopech waiting in the wings, not having a reliable fifth starter could burn the White Sox down the road. He was also used in the bullpen near the end of the season but had little success.

It is not a rebuild anymore so there is no time to be taking a flier on a reclamation project. Maybe Ethan Katz can unlock something in Rodon that Don Cooper could not. Maybe being non-tendered will be a wakeup call for him. Or maybe we have seen the best of Rodon and the White Sox just wasted a roster spot. White Sox fans are hoping it’s not the ladder.

 

Mitchell Kaminski
Mitchell studies sports communications at Bradley University and works for Braves Vision, an organization that works alongside ESPN broadcasting games and covering Bradley sports. Creator of Dorm Room Dispute podcast.