Just before the 2022 season, the SF Giants signed left-handed starting pitcher Carlos Rodon to a two-year, $44-million deal with a player option after the first year. Rodon went on to have an outstanding season, finishing sixth in National League Cy Young award voting and leading the circuit in Fielding-Independent Pitching (FIP) and strikeout rate among qualified pitchers as well as barely coming in second in Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement statistic.
Thanks to his dominant campaign, the hard-throwing southpaw decided to decline his player option and test the free agency waters again, knowing he'll likely receive more years and a higher average annual salary as one of the top players on the market after two consecutive seasons with mostly good health and Cy Young votes (Rodon spent 2021 with the Chicago White Sox).
As expected, multiple teams were reported to be seriously interested in adding Rodon to their rotations. Early on, the Texas Rangers were reported to have made contact with Rodon's agent, according to MLB Network reporter Jon Morosi, and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman wrote the New York Yankees had reached out to the starter while the public focused on their attempt to retain MVP outfielder Aaron Judge. The Giants were also expected to try to keep Rodon on the staff despite his opting-out.
Rivals vie for lefty's services
After reporting recently that the Giants' longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, were planning to make a push for Judge, Heyman noted over the Thanksgiving weekend in a small blurb toward the end of a different piece that San Francisco had competition from Los Angeles for Rodon as well:
"The Giants would like to bring back left-hander Carlos Rodon. The Dodgers, Rangers and Yankees are also in there.""- Jon Heyman
Finally, in a discussion at The Athletic about the potential roster of the Minnesota Twins, writers Dan Hayes and Aaron Gleeman made clear that Minnesota needed a top starting pitcher to compete with other rotations in the American League. Hayes suggested Rodon would fit the bill as "one of the few difference-makers available" who would not require a chunk of trade capital to acquire, and he added, "The club has definite interest in the left-hander".