Three SF Giants pitching targets that could replace Kevin Gausman in the rotation

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Carlos Rodon, SF Giants
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Three SF Giants pitching targets that could replace Kevin Gausman in the rotation

2. Carlos Rodón

Carlos Rodón does not have the type of track record of success that Sonny Gray has. With that being said, he flashed plenty of upside in 2021 as he just completed his best season on the mound, registering a 2.37 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 0.957 WHIP, 12.6 K/9, and a solid 5.14 SO/W ratio across 132.2 innings.

This included an American League All-Star nod and a fifth-place finish in the Cy Young voting. Interestingly, the Chicago White Sox did not make an $18.4 million qualifying offer to
Rodón this offseason despite the fact that his production was certainly worthy of it.

The front office was not convinced of his health as he battled a sore arm down the stretch and often pitched on more than five days of rest in the second half of the year. Rodón does have a pretty extensive injury history that includes Tommy John surgery in 2019 and shoulder surgery in 2017, so there are durability concerns.

This is compounded by the fact that he has made over 25 starts just once in his seven-year career and he is still a bit of a mystery. Before the 2021 season, the left-handed hurler posted a 4.14 ERA in six seasons with the White Sox and rarely flashed the type of ability that he demonstrated in 2021. In fact, Rodón was non-tendered by Chicago after he struggled to the tune of an 8.22 ERA in 7.2 frames in 2020.

With all that being said, the 28-year-old hurler is represented by the Boras Corporation and is likely expecting a large payday given that he is entering free agency at an unusually young age. Teams will have to grapple with whether the 2021 campaign was an outlier or a transformation into an elite-level pitcher.

Since the Giants have signed three starters (Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood, and Alex Cobb) to relatively modest deals, they are in a position to spend. Are they willing to take the risk and sign
Rodón to a long-term deal? That remains to be seen, but the veteran southpaw has the most upside of any pitcher who remains on the market.