Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Despite Ominous Tweet, Carlos Rodon Could Still Return To White Sox

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Carlos Rodon is entering free agency for the second time in as many seasons. The White Sox did not extend a qualifying offer to the 28-year-old starter, seemingly putting his tenure with the White Sox in jeopardy after seven seasons. However, the White Sox general manager, Rick Hahn, was hesitant to close the door on Rodon returning.



Rodon is coming off his best season as a Major Leaguer. He posted a 13-5 record with a 2.37 ERA over 132 2/3 innings. The southpaw punched out 185 and only walked 36 batters en route to his first All-Star season. He also had a career-defining moment when he tossed a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on April 14th.

Had the White Sox extended a qualifying offer, which was valued at $18.4 million for a year, then they would have received a compensatory Draft Pick had Rodon rejected the offer and signed elsewhere. On the surface, if the White Sox wanted their All-Star starter back it would make sense to extend the qualifying offer. In the worst-case scenario, they get a free draft pick. By not extending a qualifying offer, the indication is that Rodon’s time in the black and white pinstripes is over.

Carlos Rodon’s wife also seemed to indicate that Rodon is on his way out the door. She posted a message on Twitter that read “So thankful for Chicago!!! We love you guys! Always will. So excited for this next step of the journey Daddy Los, you’re a testimonial of how you can’t beat a person who never gives up! It’s only just the beginning of your story.”

However, Rick Hahn was not too quick to close the book on Carlos Rodon. In an interview on ESPN 1000 with Kap & J. Hood, Hahn spoke about Rodon’s future with the White Sox.

“Well, I’d caution you a little bit there, on saying ‘we’re moving on and he is definitely going elsewhere,” Hahn said in response to a question about not extending a qualifying offer to Carlos Rodon. “Not exactly a year ago this time, 11 months ago at this time, we non-tendered Carlos and he became a free agent. Yet still, later in the offseason, he returned. We are going to take a similar approach this year and we’ll remain in contact with him. I’ve already spoken with Scott Boras, his agent, last week and texted with Carlos over the weekend and, we’ll see how things unfold.

Really all the qualifying offer decision was about was the fact, that we know we are not going to have him back in the next ten days at 18.4 million for one. And based on everything we know about the situation and our needs we figured maintaining the flexibility on our payroll and our ability to remain in contact with Carlos and other options made a little more sense than potentially securing a draft pick. As much as we would like that. it likely would have been somewhere in the 70s if the collective bargaining agreement does not change in this negotiation. Again Carlos’ days are not necessarily over.”

Rick Hahn is playing chess with this decision. If you read between the lines he basically did it as a courtesy move to Rodon and Scott Boras. Hahn is doing Boras a favor by not hurting Rodon’s market with a qualifying offer. Scott Boras represents a lot of high-profile free agents so establishing a good relationship with him could pay dividends.

As Hahn previously mentioned, the White Sox pulled Rodon off the scrap heap after non-tendering him last offseason. So there is reason to believe Rodon still could return to the only club he has ever known.

Even if Rodon decides to sign elsewhere, the gesture of not extending a qualifying offer and letting Rodon hit the open market with no strings attached is a good reward for a player that has done a lot for the organization. Hopefully, Scott Boras and other players take notice.



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.

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