SF Giants: 3 best signings of the Farhan Zaidi era
2. Pitcher Carlos Rodón (two years, $44 million)
The Giants' front office has had a knack for finding quality pitching in free agency. The organization has helped many pitchers improve including Kevin Gausman. That said, Carlos Rodón
might be in a different category because he was coming off of a dominant season in which he posted a 2.37 ERA in 24 starts for the Chicago White Sox in 2021.
He earned an AL All-Star selection while finishing in fifth place in the AL Cy Young voting. He was poised to earn a huge payday in free agency, but some teams were hesitant given that his fastball velocity noticeably dipped at the end of the 2021 season and the fact that he carried significant injury risk.
In his first seven seasons, Rodón made over 25 starts just once as he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019 and battled bouts of shoulder fatigue. This did not scare off the Giants as the front office has proven to accept a high degree of injury risk.
The left-handed hurler's contract includes an opt-out clause, which he will undoubtedly exercise. This effectively makes his original deal a one-year pact.
Regardless of the length, it has paid significant dividends for the Giants. Rodón tallied a 2.84 ERA, 2.27 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, 11.8 K/9, and a 4.49 SO/W ratio in 29 starts for the Giants in 2022. This includes an All-Star bid in his second straight season and he will likely merit serious consideration for the NL Cy Young award.
The southpaw was available at the trade deadline as the Giants faded from playoff contention and a handful of teams will be disappointed that they did not make a better effort to acquire Rodón.
He has been electric in a Giants uniform and is in line to earn a substantial payday this winter. The front office did well to sign him, but they will need to prove to the fanbase that they can spend like the other big-market clubs.