The offseason is finally underway and the SF Giants have a tough decision ahead. They will need to determine what they plan to do with left-handed hurler Carlos Rodón.
3 top reasons why Carlos Rodón would want to remain with the SF Giants
If recent history is any indication, then the Giants might be out of the Rodón sweepstakes before they even begin. Last winter, veteran starter Kevin Gausman became a free agent after reviving his career in San Francisco.
The righty signed a five-year, $110 million pact with the Toronto Blue Jays. Gausman had interest in returning to the Giants but the front office never made a legitimate offer. The Giants have a hole to fill in the rotation and they cannot make the same mistake again.
With that being said, the Giants' front office seems like the type that looks for the next best value deal. They signed Rodón to a two-year, $44 million deal last offseason. That turned out to be a tremendous value as the southpaw was one of the best pitchers in baseball.
His contract included an opt-out clause after the first season if he exceeded 110 innings pitched. He surpassed that threshold with ease and elected free agency. Of course, the Giants issued him a qualifying offer, which he rejected.
Rodón is officially a free agency again and there is expected to be a lot of potential suitors. If the Giants retain him, then they will have to make a compelling offer and the type of offer that is beyond the front office's comfort zone. However, there are plenty of reasons why Rodón would want to stay in San Francisco.
1. A familiar place where he has had success
Rodón has spent the bulk of his career with the Chicago White Sox. However, one of his best seasons came in a Giants uniform. The upward trajectory began in 2021 where the hard-throwing hurler registered a 2.37 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 0.95 WHIP, 12.6 K/9, and a 5.14 SO/W ratio. He earned his first All-Star nod and finished in fifth place in the AL Cy Young voting.
The red flag with Rodón has been durability. He has missed significant time in the past due to shoulder and elbow injuries. Prior to 2022, Rodón had only made more than 25 starts just once in his career.
Performance had been inconsistent as well and likely a product of constant injuries. Rodón has been relatively injury-free over the past two years and managed his largest workload this past year.
In 31 starts, the veteran starter recorded a 2.88 ERA, 2.25 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, and a 4.56 SO/W ratio. His innings pitched (178) and starts (31) represented career highs by a comfortable margin.
The Giants have accepted a high level of injury risk with many of the pitchers they have targeted. Despite the risk, Giants starters have largely avoided major injury. Oftentimes, pitchers will make a trip to the injured list as a way to treat minor ailments before they become more significant. It is fair to say that the Giants do well in managing a pitcher's workload.
Rodón had his healthiest season yet, so the Giants might have a knack for keeping pitchers on the field. Plus, not only did Rodón have success in 2022, but he pitches in one of the more pitcher-friendly parks in Oracle Park.
He posted a 1.93 ERA in 15 starts at home compared to a 3.73 ERA on the road. If he is looking to maintain his performance, then staying in San Francisco might be the best move for his career.