The White Sox are in agreement with free agent left-hander
Rodón has spent his entire pro career in the organization, after the Sox selected him with the third overall pick in the 2014 draft out of North Carolina State. Early on, he looked well on his way to fulfilling that promise. Rodón was a fixture in the big league rotation by 2015 and looked the part of a solid mid-rotation starter over his first two seasons in MLB.
Things have gone off the rails since then, however. Rodón dealt with a series of arm injuries and struggled between stints on the injured list from 2017-19, culminating in a May 2019 Tommy John surgery. He returned to Chicago’s rotation to start the 2020 season but was shut back down after just two starts due to soreness in his throwing shoulder. Fortunately, Rodón did make it back to the mound for a pair of relief appearances at the end of last season. Working in short stints, he averaged nearly 96MPH on his fastball, a significant uptick from his typical low-90’s velocity as a starter.
In spite of that end-of-season flash of peak form, Chicago non-tendered Rodón rather than bring him back for a projected arbitration salary in the $4-5MM range. After a few months in free agency, he’ll return to the organization at a slightly cheaper price.
The 28-year-old will compete with Reynaldo López and Dylan Cease for a season-opening rotation spot behind Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn and Dallas Keuchel, hears Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. (Top prospect Michael Kopech is expected to start the season in the minors, per Rosenthal). Even if Rodón doesn’t win a rotation job, it’s easy to imagine him serving as a valuable, power lefty relief piece for new manager Tony La Russa.